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The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove: A Novel
by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Published: 2010-08-17
Hardcover : 272 pages
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Nobody in Nashville has a bigger name to live up to than Bezellia Grove.� As a Grove, she belongs to one of city's most prominent families and is expected to embrace her position in high society.� That means speaking fluent French, dancing at cotillions with boys from other important ...
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Introduction

(Nobody in Nashville has a bigger name to live up to than Bezellia Grove.� As a Grove, she belongs to one of city's most prominent families and is expected to embrace her position in high society.� That means speaking fluent French, dancing at cotillions with boys from other important families, and mastering the art of the perfect smile.�

Also looming large is her given name Bezellia, which has been passed down for generations to the first daughter born to the eldest Grove.� The others in the long line of Bezellias shortened the ancestral name to Bee, Zee or Zell.� But Bezellia refuses all nicknames and dreams that one day she, too, will be remembered for her original namesake's courage and passion.

Though she leads a life of privilege, being a Grove is far from easy.� Her mother hides her drinking but her alcoholism is hardly a secret.� Her father, who spends long hours at work, is distant and inaccessible.� For as long as she can remember, she's been raised by Maizelle, the nanny, and Nathaniel, the handyman.� To Bezellia, Maizelle and Nathaniel are cherished family members.� To her parents, they will never be more than servants.��

Relationships are complicated in 1960s Nashville, where society remains neatly ordered by class, status and skin color.� Black servants aren?t supposed to eat at the same table as their white employers.� Black boys aren?t supposed to make conversation with white girls.� And they certainly aren?t supposed to fall in love.� When Bezellia has a clandestine affair with Nathaniel's son, Samuel, their romance is met with anger and fear from both families.� In a time and place where rebelling against the rules carries a steep price, Bezellia Grove must decide which of her names will be the one that defines her.

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  "A Very Enjoyable Read!"by LINDSAY H. (see profile) 01/05/11

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