Today I have a review of Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton. This beautiful book is available now!
It’s the 1970s. Millie and her brother Finley are eighteen months apart, and he’s her rock. When Millie is ten, Posey, their mother, leaves their alcoholic father and moves from Minnesota to Tennessee, where Posey is was raised.
Memphis might as well be a foreign country to Finley and Millie. They are different from everyone else and on the outside looking in. Luckily they have each other, but that’s about all they have.
When Posey returns to her hometown, she immediately finds her way, unlike her children. She’s wrapped up in society and often leaves the children alone while she’s at the country club.
Millie and Finley come-of-age in Memphis. They each just want to belong, as any teen does. Their paths separate, and their outcomes are different from each other. Their relationship falls into disrepair as well.
Millie is in her 30s when she reflects on her life and specifically her relationship with her brother. I found this exploration incredibly authentic and insightful. The nuances of brother-sister relationships are present and driven home. Finley is Millie’s protector and hero. If you had a big brother (like I did), you totally get it. The two are extremely close growing up until they aren’t.
In Memphis high society, appearances are everything, and it’s hard to fit in. Claire Fullerton does an impeccable job capturing that “outsider” feeling, especially for teenagers. I’ve been there. She nailed it.
The writing is beautiful, and I highlighted so many smart, gorgeous quotes. I also have to mention the time period. The 1970s came to life with the clothing, music, and ideas of the time. Also important to note is all the backdrop of segregation and social change happening at a slower pace.
The book may have been set in the 1970s, but the themes are universal for any time. The characters are well-drawn, and I was transported to this special time and place.
Poignant, powerful, and stunningly written, I was enamored with Mourning Dove and very much look forward to Fullerton’s next book!
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.
Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.
But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?
Have you read Mourning Dove, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR