Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Sweetest Hallelujah

The Sweetest Hallelujah
Author: Elaine Hussey
Publisher: Harlequin/Mira
Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Book Description:
An unforgettable story of two courageous women brought together by one extraordinary little girl. 

Betty Jewel Hughes was once the hottest black jazz singer in Memphis. But when she finds herself pregnant and alone, she gives up her dream of being a star to raise her beautiful daughter, Billie, in Shakerag, Mississippi. Now, ten years later, in 1955, Betty Jewel is dying of cancer and looking for someone to care for Billie when she's gone. With no one she can count on, Betty Jewel does the unthinkable: she takes out a want ad seeking a loving mother for her daughter.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, recently widowed Cassie Malone is an outspoken housewife insulated by her wealth and privileged white society. Working part-time at a newspaper, she is drawn to Betty Jewel through her mysterious ad. With racial tension in the South brewing, the women forge a bond as deep as it is forbidden. But neither woman could have imagined the gifts they would find in each other, and in the sweet young girl they both love with all their hearts. Deeply moving and richly evocative, The Sweetest Hallelujah is a remarkable tale about finding hope in a time of turmoil, and about the transcendent and transformative power of friendship.

Idgie Says:
This is a novel that deals with the ever popular white/black relations of the 1950s, but with a much different twist to it.  The black woman who was once a singer has a child who's going to need someone to take care of her soon.  The white woman desperately wanted children but could never manage to carry a baby to term.  An ad is placed, the women meet and the novel takes a far more interesting turn than expected.

Unexpected secrets come to the surface and warm friendships develop. Racial tensions continue to strain and challenge the women - who only want what is best for the child.

A heartwarming story worth reading.