This novel is a creepy, mysterious romp through southern life. Heflin creates the most hate-able character since Shakespeare's Iago in the mother Rosemary, and leaves us crying, literally, for the sake of her son, Richard.
Have you read a book and wondered how you would make it through to the end, not out of boredom mind you, but out of the agony you feel for a protagonist? No? Well, read this, and you'll be able to answer with a resounding "Hell, yeah!" As Heflin takes a look at the tyranny of parents and the enmeshment only certain really screwed up relationships can bring to life, but he does so in such a way that we find ourselves riveted to the story rather than predicting its ideal outcome.
After all, when a story begins with rape and secrecy, how can we predict anything at all?
The one woman who was supposed to love him was the one person who tried to destroy him. Richard Creek finally took a stand against his abusive mother, Rosemary, in the fall of 1929, leading to nearly three decades of her merciless tyranny. He has to decide how to protect his children from the omnipotent hand of the Lady of the Manor while they dwell beneath the same roof. Tensions overflow in this atypical home in Savannah, Georgia during the blazing summer of 1958. 71-year old Rosemary (Rosey) Isabella Creek is the cruel and ruthless matriarch of Creek Manor who carries out her malevolent deeds with the help of her loyal butler, Rayford Caruthers, whom she continually degrades for being an albino black man with atrocious English. Her only friend is Pop Barnes, who along with Rosemary’s brother, are the only ones who seem to remember a softer, lovelier ‘Rosey’. She lords over her only son, Richard, a 43-year old banker; his wife, 42-year old Helen; and their five children: the twins; Hilary and Taylor, along with Kimberly, Reginald, and Brock. The patience of everyone is tested with each of Rosemary’s taunts as they try to understand the nature and reason of her cruelty. As more details of her past are revealed, it only further complicates their comprehension. Will she ever transform into a woman that they can love?