Baker & Taylor In 1986, one year after the tragic death of a young boy at an annual festival celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the people of Halley's Landing enjoy the festivities but also endure painful memories.
Blackwell North Amer Since the late 1800s, Halley's Landing has commemorated the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation with one of the grandest festivals in the Midwest. Year after year, celebrants come from near and far to show off their best clothes, cook up special dishes, and pay tribute to the rich heritage of the former slaves who settled the Illinois town, hoping to piece together a life. But along with stories of the good times come unbearably painful memories and long-buried resentments. Narrated by a chorus of voices, An Eighth of August begins with the Sunday church services of the 1986 celebration, a year after a terrible tragedy rocked the people of this close-knit community. The festival provides the backdrop for a vividly moving story that weaves together the lives and voices of the residents of Halley's Landing. We hear form strong-willed Flossie Jo Penticott and her estranged daughter, Sweet Alma, whose relationship has been torn apart by an unimaginable sorrow; Flossie's scatterbrained sister-in-law Thelma and her salt-of-the-earth husband, Herbert, who remain steadfastly devoted despite life's ups and downs; Aunt Cora, whose humor, generous spirit, and large home provide refuge for the weary; and May Ruth, an eccentric older white women who fits in like any other family member.
Baker & Taylor In 1986, one year after the tragic death of a young boy during Halley's Landing's annual festival celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the people of the town enjoy the festivities and their close relationships with one another, but also endure painful memories, uncover long-buried resentments, and recall old sorrows. 40,000 first printing.