In the Country of Women

By Susan Straight,

Book cover of In the Country of Women

Book description

One of NPR's Best Books of the Year

“Straight’s memoir is a lyric social history of her multiracial clan in Riverside that explores the bonds of love and survival that bind them, with a particular emphasis on the women’s stories . . . The aftereffect of all these disparate stories…

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2 authors picked In the Country of Women as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Novelist as genealogist, genealogist as novelist. A fiercely loyal portrait of a range of amazing women whose lives feel as if they were fictional, but they were and are not. A tender portrait of several generations of smart and loving mothers, wives, and daughters whose California is not the place of wealth and glamor but rather of making do, getting by, and loving your people and landscapes.

From William's list on family in California.

Susan Straight was born in Riverside, California where she still lives and teaches. She is the author of eight novels and a frequent contributor to The Los Angeles Times. In The Country of Women is a memoir about the women in Straight’s family who migrated from Switzerland, Canada, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Colorado. They all traveled without men and with children in broken-down cars. They depended on the kindness of strangers until they found work and finally settled in Riverside and started new lives. Riverside, a place that people don’t normally think of when they think of California, was their…

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