The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove
By Susan Gregg Gilmore
Summary: Being one of the most affluent and important families in Nashville, there are certain things expected of Bezellia, the oldest daughter in the Grove family. Keeping out of trouble and hiding her family’s secrets are chief among them. Yet being from a life of privilege isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and Bezellia wants nothing more than just to be loved – by her mother, her father, and especially her African-American handyman’s son. This captivating story follows Bezellia through difficult choices and bad mistakes as she tries to discover her own path.
Review: Spanning from when Bezellia is young until she is in college, Gilmore provides the reader with a full and enchanting story. Bezellia is a relatable character, despite the historical setting. One can easily identify with the feelings of inadequacy and searching that are expressed in this coming of age story. The wit and flare of Bezellia comes through in the writing, and one cannot help but root for her along the way. This story provides a lot of access points. First and foremost, it is about a girl’s struggle to figure herself out and find her place in the world. However, there is also romance, historical elements, as well as funny and endearing side characters. Overall, this is a very enjoyable read.
Also by Susan Gregg Gilmore: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
If you liked The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, you might also enjoy: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, When it Happens by Susane Colasanti, The Birth House by Ami McKay (adult)
Non Fiction Connection: Sitting In and Speaking Out: Movements in the American South by Jeffery Turner.
Author Website: http://www.susangregggilmore.com/
Rating: W3/4 C3/4 P3/4 O2.5/4 PP3/3 CR2/4 (cover seems a little outdated)
Grade Level Interest: S