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Review: The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck

“In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless old black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man; their mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the police chief’s son is found stabbed to death near his camp, the man Ora knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora discovers more truth about herself than she could ever have imagined.”

This is an amazing story about friendship, courage, family, the strength of women and mostly a story of love.  Every word is carefully chosen for its impact.  Every character is fully fleshed and true to the times.  They misjudge and make mistakes; they stand up and admit those mistakes when necessary; they are not afraid to be different in a small town where difference if frowned upon and they ultimately stand up for what is right and good.

The prose pulls you into this small town and into the lives of its residents.  You can hear the cicadas sign, smell the freshly cut grass and taste the sweet iced tea as you sit along with Ora Lee on her porch.  You feel her loss and her loneliness and you experience her joy when she rediscovers the gift of family.  You will also feel her sense of confusion and loss when she makes a decision that changes the lives of everyone around her.  It’s impossible to not love Ora Lee by the end of the book.

Please give this beautiful story a chance.  I believe it is one of the few that will stay with almost every one of its readers for a long time after the last page is turned.  Cassie Dandridge Selleck has written a classic tale that deserves to be remembered.

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