Friday, April 11, 2008

Whispers of the Bayou

Tomorrow is the start of rummage sale season. Mom and I have always loved rummage sales, but a few years ago we gave ourselves an excuse to go to them. Mom and I started selling collectibles on eBay (we're ccshoppers), and over the past three or so years we've made enough money to help out each Christmas and take care of our annual camping trip together. The downside is that Mom has two entire rooms in her house that she can't use because they are filled with boxes of items to sell, not to mention all the boxes and shelves in the basement. Sometimes we make out very well: a Royal Doulton figurine purchased for 99 cents at a thrift store netted us over $150. Other times not so well: a set of Fire King dishes with a rare pattern we picked up for a couple of dollars went for just under $80, but we discovered later we could have made over $300 if we had just known the name.

My stepdad is remarkably understanding about the entire thing, which is good, because tomorrow is a HUGE church rummage sale in Abrams, and I'm taking out the backseat of the van just in case. This sale is so big that they hand out maps at the door and have stations where you can drop off your items when your arms get too full to carry anymore. It starts at eight; Molly and I will be outside the doors at 7:15 (Molly's not thrilled about it, but she's getting paid). Sunday Mom and I will spend the day sorting and listing our new finds. Hopefully a lot will sell, because the boxes have already spilled out of the second room and are starting to take over the dining room and next week is the big library book sale in Oconto.

Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark is full of twists and turns and family secrets. Miranda Miller's life is going according to plan, even if it isn't perfect, when she's suddenly attacked and then gets word that she needs to return to her family's plantation in Louisiana. The caretaker is dying, but he insists that he has something that he can only tell her in person. Miranda takes her daughter and falls into a twisted history of secrets and lies that may cost not only her life, but those she loves as well. For just a few hundred pages, Clark manages to pack an enormous amount of plot into this well-crafted thriller. Secret societies with mysterious secrets, long-long parents and lovers, murder and betrayal, this book has it all, but without sacrificing plausibility or character development. Miranda is a smart, interesting character who learns about faith and trusting others. Every time I turned the page another bomb was dropped; I couldn't put the book down.

Today's pic is a four generation picture of my Grandma Valley, me, my mom, and Molly. Grandma taught rummage saling at her knee. It's a completely genetic condition.