Grace At Low Tide
Chapter One - Mama and the Debutramp "Fat is not the enemy," my mama says to me. She is sitting in her reading chair next to the sliding glass door with Easy the cat nestled behind her ankles. She sets...
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Chapter One - Mama and the Debutramp "Fat is not the enemy," my mama says to me. She is sitting in her reading chair next to the sliding glass door with Easy the cat nestled behind her ankles. She sets the book down on her knee to look me over. "So what is?" I say, grabbing one of Daddy's peanut butter bars out of the bread basket in the kitchen. "Shouldn't you cover your arms?" she says. The creases on the inside of her black eyebrows deepen like the cracks in the ceiling above my bed, and a square pocket of skin forms at the top of her nose. "Nope," I say, "that kitchen's hot." She gives one steady nod and says slowly, " Car-bo-hy-drates ." Then she spreads her fingers out over the pages. "I wish your father would read this book." "Love you," I say, and as I'm walking onto the porch she says, "Careful tonight, dahlin'. They're everywhere." She puts her hand on her chest and wheezes, "Those deer." _____ Mama likes to diet and study the Bible. About a year ago she joined this group called First Place, which she describes as a "Christ-centered weight-loss program." She drives all the way to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Charleston twice a week to pray with her small group and weigh in. So far she's lost eleven pounds, but it's hard for me to tell. Mama's got a funny shape. She says God took two different bodies, cut them in half, and sewed the opposites together. Her top, starting with her elongated neck, is noticeably thin--she's got bony shoulders, a flat chest, and a tee-niny waist. She's short and when she's wearing a long skirt, you'd swear she was little all over. But her bottom half is round, with pockets of flesh spread from her hips to her knees like bread rolls. It's like this: her wrists are pencil thin, but her ankles are as thick as potatoes. Years ago at a beach party, I overheard my mama's brother, Uncle Bobbie, talking to my daddy while Mama (in her skirted two-piece) took some of the kids down to play in the surf. He said, "If only she was like a tube of toothpaste, then you could just squeeze some of her up." Daddy looked at my uncle then back to my mama as she stood in the surf, leaning over to wash something out of my cousin's eye. "Can't have it all," he said. ____ "About time for work, eh?" yells Daddy. He is about twenty yards away, in the fish shed by the dock. He's slapping the dust out of the croaker sacks for the oyster roast as the tide empties out of the creek behind him, wide ripples of black water shaped like boomerangs hurling toward the sea. I can tell by how quick his bulky arms are moving that he's in a better mood than usual. It's two days before Christmas, and tomorrow the whole family--my brother, sister, and cousin--will be home. Family gatherings are one of the few events that make him happy. "I'm off to work, Dad," I say. "Mama says those deer are everywhere," he yells. "Yep," I say. "The last thing I want is another dent in the truck," he says. I nod, and as I step carefully into the pickup, keeping my tennis socks from touching the layer of damp mud that is splayed across the door, he shouts, "DeVeaux," and I can tell by his tone that he's already irritated. So I roll down the window and say sweetly, "Yes, sir?" He walks toward me, dragging a croaker sack across the yard, his duck boots stamping the dark soil as he dodges the tire swing and shimmies between the tractor and the toolshed. He's gained about twenty pounds since last spring, much of which seems to have attached itself to his neck and cheeks. Now his eyes become two slits when he smiles and when he yells. As he reaches the teahouse where the truck is parked he says, "Did you get the Orangeburg sausage?" "You said you needed it by C
DeVeaux DeLoach enjoys her privileged life on her family's 150-year-old Edisto Island plantation. But her world turns upside down when her daddy declares bankruptcy and sells their home. Now her family lives in the caretaker's cottage and works for the new Japanese owners. Can her stubborn faith give her hurting family hope for the future? A sensitive coming-of-age tale set amidst the beautiful low country. 320 pages, softcover from WestBow.
^A haunting tale of stumbling faith, hard-won hope, white-knuckled love and a mysterious mercy.^Fifteen-year-old DeVeaux is now fifty miles form the place where she used to live--only fifty miles and five months since her blue-blood father declared bankruptcy. "Used to" was a graceful home in a historic Charleston neighborhood. Country clubs, cotillions, childhood friends, and a close-knit church group. "Now" is a run-down cottage on an island estate that is no longer in the family. A restaurant job, a cantankerous old truck, and mud on just about everything.^But something is wearing DeVeaux down. It's not living on the island, which is actually kind of interesting. And it's not missing her old friends, who have developed an annoying fixation on boys. What really bothers DeVeaux is that being "ruined" has changed her dad into an ill-tempered jerk, and her mother just tiptoes around him. If the good Lord has a plan for saving them, now might be a good time to start.^A gritty bu
Beth Webb Hart, a South Carolina native, is the best-selling author of Grace at Low Tide and The Wedding Machine. She serves as a speaker and creative writing instructor at schools, libraries, and churches throughout the region, and she has received two national teaching awards from Scholastic, Inc. Hart lives with her husband and their family in Charleston.