Baby of the Family
From the moment of her birth in a small all-black hospital in the tiny Georgia town of Mulberry, Lena McPherson is recognized as a special child, born with a caul over her face, able to see ghosts and predict the future. But Lena’s mother breaks the ritualistic process that would have protected her little girl from evil spirits.
So, Lena grows from a special child to a fearful adolescent not understanding why she is so different. Ultimately, she must accept that those she loves can give her love and nothing more and she must find her own uncertain way.
UGLY WAYS is the powerful tale of the three Lovejoy sisters – Betty, Emily and Annie Ruth — reunited in their hometown of Mulberry, Georgia on the occasion of their mother’s death. The sisters have had a complicated love-hate relationship with the woman who insisted on being called Mudear even though she is as far from a Mother Dear as anyone could get. In life, Mudear, a complicated, self-focused woman, ruled her house and raised her daughters with an iron hand, wise sayings and a distant interest after her “change.” Selfish, manipulative, complex Mudear may be dead, but she is far from gone. As the emotionally scarred Lovejoys prepare for their mother’s funeral, Mudear’s spirit hovers above them, complaining about her daughters “ugly ways” in death as she did in life.
With their totally demoralized father Ernest hovering on the periphery of their lives, Betty, Emily and Annie Ruth get about the business of burial. But before the Lovejoy girls can put Mudear in the ground, they must come to grips with their lives, their choices, their feelings and their future with and without Mudear.
The novel challenges the stereotypical image of the African-American mother as a superwoman of unlimited strength, compassion and wisdom. With humor and wisdom, UGLY WAYS explores the past as it affirms the future. As Mudear the realist says, “When you dead, you done, so let the good times roll.”
The Hand I Fan With
Lena McPherson, the “baby of the family” from Ansa’s first novel, is all grown up, rich, beautiful and successful. The only problem is she is also lonely, overworked and unappreciated as the “hand” the whole town of Mulberry, Georgia “fans with.” But she is still a special little baby girl so she and her best friend get together and conjure her up a man and Herman, a 100-year-old ghost appears.
In this beautifully erotic novel, Herman fills her life with joy, love and peace and teaches her how to share her life, wealth and gifts without destroying herself in the process.
You Know Better
It is the spring weekend of the Peach Blossom Festival in the tiny middle Georgia town of Mulberry, but things are far from peachy for the Pines women. LaShawndra, an eighteen-year-old hoochie-mama who wants nothing more out of life than to dance in a music video, has messed up … again. But this time she isn’t sticking around to hear about it.
Not that her mother seems to care; after all, Sandra is busy working on her real estate career and on the local minister. It’s LaShawndra’s grandmother, Lily, a former schoolteacher, principal, school board administrator, and highly respected cornerstone of the Mulberry community, who is scouring the streets at midnight looking for her granddaughter.
Over the course of one weekend these three disparate but connected women, guided by a trio of unexpected spirits, will learn to face the pain in their lives and discover that with reconciliation comes the healing they all desperately seek.
In this magical, deeply resonant novel, Tina McElroy Ansa goes straight to the heart of family, women’s relationships, and the generational divide to reveal the soul that bonds us all.