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The Only Piece of Furniture in the House by Diane Glancy (eBook)


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"My father, Wood Hume, worked for the railroad. We followed him from town to town, through Texas and Louisiana in the tomato-red sun that sank into the plains. I learned to read on highway signs." So begins the beautifully told story of Rachel and her itinerant Southern family. In The Only Piece of Furniture in the House, Diane Glancy captures the lan­guage of the rural south in the tradition of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.  

Sometimes the Humes lived in the Cajun town of Pole Cat Creek, Louisiana, where the children washed cotton bins, but the most permanent home for the eleven children was with their grandmother in Madill, Texas. There the young and naive Rachel meets and begins an awkward courtship with Jim, a soldier at the nearby army base, whom Rachel’s grandma immediately sizes up and pronounces "the enemy." 

Rachel’s rich religious and family background leave her unprepared for married life in the barracks, where the other young women shock Rachel by smoking and having affairs. Profoundly homesick, Rachel almost dies in childbirth. She must resolve the differences in her new adult life with memories of a beloved child­hood.

"A powerful short novel...that maps unusual terrain.... Glancy pulls off the difficult feat of
making a seemingly quiet life rich, complex, and deeply moving. A powerful meditation on
the manner in which religious and earthy love may reinforce one another, offering
something sustaining 'beyond the plainness of our lives.'"Kirkus Reviews

 "Glancy's gift for expressive lan­guage and her courage in
explor­ing painful subjects. . .make the reader hungry for more."
The New York Times Book Review

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