Flying South by Laura Malone Elliott
In the sticky-hot summer of 1968, a year in American history marked by assassinations, Vietnam War protests, and civil rights rioting, Alice faces some trying concerns of her own. Alice longs for a connection with her mother, who is beautiful but distant, caught up in the search for a husband who will help erase the memory of Alice's father. Alice's friendship with Bridget, a tennis-playing Twiggy, introduces her to competitiveness and the shallow pettiness of spoiled rich girls, as as well as to the prejudice that many Americans still feel toward black people.
It is Alice's friendship with Doc, the family gardener and handyman, that continually brings her back to the truths that will shape the decsions in her life. Doc reminds Alice that life is about "passing the test" -- doing what's right.
FLYING SOUTH celebrates a young girl's coming-of-age in a delicate, moving narrative that sings with the understated, yet resonate, pleasures of life in the American South.
New York: HarperCollins, 2003 - 148p