Author(s): Jonathan Odell
Set in 1950s Mississippi, this is the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida - one wealthy and white and the other poor and black - who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another. Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi's racist sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can't keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a Christmas manger scene, Hazel is sedated and bedridden. Hazel's husband hires Vida to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife and to care for his sole surviving son. Forced to spend time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn the town of Delphi on its head. This is the story of a town, a people and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things...like an unexpected friendship.
Jonathan Odell is the author of two novels, The Healing (2012) and The View from Delphi (2004), which has been updated and republished as Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League. Odell was born and raised in Mississippi. His short stories and essays have appeared in numerous collections. A frequent public speaker and leadership coach, he now resides in Minnesota.