Fourteen-year-old Thomas John Sutton is going under. He hopes baptism in creek water makes his future clearer. He doesn’t know the plunge will start unraveling secrets from his past.

His mother is known as “The Widow”. Before Thomas was born, she and Miss Edna, their housekeeper, moved to Alabama from Georgia to live with Thomas’s great-uncle. But before arriving the great-uncle, a morphine-addicted abortion doctor, was killed. Canaan buried him, as they do others undesirables, outside the cemetery fence.

Now Miss Edna, who Thomas sometimes calls “Nana”, is dying. Esther, thirteen, is housekeeper and nurse. Esther, also an undesirable, is shunned because of her bastard birth. Thomas thinks he’s in love.

According to The Widow, her son is “The spitting image of his father only more handsome and smarter.” Old women adore him and men agree he would someday made the place proud. Young girls swoon and he’s the children’s hero. His peers struggle between envy and hate.

Thomas just wants to be a normal boy. But after learning the family secret, he knows he’ll be shunned too.

IN MEMORY OF is the story of two teenagers struggling against an unforgiving society in rural Alabama 1933.







About John Northcutt Young

I write. Remember making-up stories from spelling words in the fifth grade. A journalism degree followed. Thanks for looking.
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