The Whistle Walk

Stephenia H.

HISTORICAL:  Lydia Harper has been raised to be a proper Southern Lady capable of assuming her position by the side of her new husband as owners of a large Mississippi plantation.   One day while shopping, however, Lydia witnesses a young black woman being beaten in the streets.  When no one intervenes, she rushes to stop the travesty and ends up buying the girl instead. Not knowing what to do with the filthy but determined girl, Lydia decides to teach her to be her lady’s maid and soon grows to admire and enjoy the unlikely friendship that is developing. 

Soon the Civil War works its way through the South, however, and Lydia’s husband is pulled away to fight, leaving young Lydia in charge.  Lonely and unsure, Lydia takes a chance and trusts the very people who are fighting to get away.  Forging a bond that infuriates her counterparts, Lydia soon learns the hard lessons of prejudice but also those of friendship, redemption and strength.

This is a story of two women, one white, one black, struggling to live within the confines of what is expected of their lives yet yearning for something better.  It is beautifully told, exquisitely crafted, examining the harsh realities of slavery while allowing one to see the fire of hope and courage.  It also shows the kindness and compassion of a young white lady expected to act as others yet yearning to change those expectations.  It is realistic and sometimes heartbreaking yet it delivers a message of hope, love and faith against all odds and in all circumstance and it does this to absolute perfection!  Bravo Ms. McGee!

Ruth Lynn Ritter