A Good Year for Roses, the sequel to The Front Porch Sisters, brims with intrigue and passion in a magnolia-scented south when a feisty farm girl from Madison County, Florida, Essie Donnelly, defies all odds and begins a search for her dead sister’s child. There are no clues, no information, and no link to the child’s whereabouts. Until. Until Essie meets Minnie Pryor, a young black woman who swears the picture of Essie’s sister looks just like a girl she saw the previous summer on a plantation somewhere around Thomasville, Georgia.
From the quaint, historical town of Boston, Georgia, to the breathtaking plantations of Pebble Hill, Melrose and Sinkola in Thomas County, the search for a young girl is pursued with a tenacity that can only be driven by Essie's love for her late sister and the niece she only recently knew existed.
By Sue Chamblin Frederick
She’d get on that damn train. Catch the Atlantic Coast Line coach at 3:59 p.m. and travel east to Waycross, then northeast to Savannah. At Savannah, she’d say goodbye to Georgia as she boarded the East Coast Champion and arrived at New York’s Grand Central Station at 11:45 a.m.
The Thomas H. Fox Literary Agency had proclaimed her the fresh, new voice of the South, her novel The Watermelon Queen of Madison County slated for release on November 1. She’d never heard of the Hudson Theatre, the same theatre where Elvis had performed the previous July, where the renowned literary agent had made elaborate arrangements that would surely propel her to stardom.
Mr. Fox had also made a reservation at The Premier Hotel, just off Times Square, on 44th Street, where she’d stay at least a week promoting her novel. It was true the literary agenct was enamored with her Southern charm. Said he’d like to see her novel adapted to a Broadway play. The sky’s the limit, he had said.
And why shouldn’t she go to New York? Leave Madison County. No family left, except Uncle Lester. Jewell’s grave still fresh. Sam Washington busy putting Stanley Barnwell in prison for attempted murder.
She’d been up since daylight. Packed two fancy dresses, some of her mama’s jewelry and Jewell’s cashmere sweater. At the top of the stairs, suitcase beside her, she closed her eyes, her breath coming quickly, her heart pounding into the word ‘no.’ She shoved the suitcase down the stairs and watched it tumble end over end.
Oh, hell. No way I’m going to New York City. Come on, Jewel, let’s go find your baby!