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Along with the sweltering heat of the Mississippi pine barrens, the summer of 1963 brings intruders to Kali Oka Road: The Blood of the Redeemer churchers, members of a secretive religious sect, and Nadine Andrews, a single woman of marrying age more interested in her horses than starting a family.
Both threaten the predictable sameness of this rural, tightly knit community. And both provide irresistible temptation for thirteen-year-old Bekkah Rich, who is willing to risk hell fire in her efforts to spy on the newcomers.
But then her best friend’s baby sister disappears, surrounding Bekkah in a web of kidnapping and murder. Suddenly, summertime antics become deadly serious, and those who were once a curiosity are now tainted with evil.
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A native of Lucedale, Mississippi, Carolyn Haines is a former journalist. She has written numerous works of fiction, including a series of mysteries set in the Mississippi Delta. Her latest mystery is Hallowed Bones. She is the author of My Mother’s Witness: The Peggy Morgan Story (River City Publishing, 2003), and her latest short story appears in an Algonquin collection, Christmas in the South.From Kirkus Reviews:
A coming-of-age novel set in rural Mississippi during the 1960s offers up such potentially juicy elements as racial strife, religious fanaticism, child abuse, and grown-up duplicity, yet proves disappointingly ``young adult'' in perspective and style. Haines, who has written several novels under a pseudonym, takes as her narrator 13-year-old Bekkah Rich, who may look like any other kid living on Kali Oka Road outside of Jexville, Miss., but who is in several significant ways atypical. Daughter of a children's book author and a college professor, Bekkah is destined by brains as well as background for a larger world that few of her playmates will ever see. Nevertheless, in the summer of 1963, that world makes an appearance on Kali Oka Road in two quick, successive strokes: Zombielike members of the Blood of the Redeemer Church move into the abandoned Live for Christ Church quarters nearby; and the old, deserted McInnis plantation is taken over by a shockingly eccentric, bleached-blond horse owner named Nadine Andrews. Curiosity tempts Bekkah to spy on the weird ``Redeemers,'' and her passion for horses leads her to sign up as Nadine's stable hand, despite stern orders from her mother to the contrary. As the summer slowly passes and Bekkah's liberal parents face their own first battles in the civil rights war, the teen discovers horrifying goings-on that seem to include the selling of babies, the beating of children, the torture of animals, the seduction of minors, and, finally, the murder of an innocent child. Haines's evocation of a particular place and time are certainly masterful, but her melodramatic plot is severely hindered by her narrator's early-adolescent point of view. Bekkah's simple heart gets in the way of what might otherwise have been a gripping story, leaving the reader wanting more. (Literary Guild selection; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description River City Pub, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111579660606
Book Description River City Pub, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1579660606