Southern literature with a twist of faithTM
Read about Porch Music‘s awards and honors, and read the full Clarion review.
Available for purchase on Amazon, published by TouchPoint Press.
Here’s where to contact me about book club appearances.
A portrait of a family descended from Florida’s Seminole Tribe paints secrets too dangerous to reveal. All sixteen-year-old Rose has is what she carries: a pillowcase of clothes, her boyfriend’s unborn child, and a heart full of shame. In the face of 1952’s strict moral code, Seminole matriarch Ma-Ki Ebbing embraces Rose. Ma-Ki, on the fringe of society, clings to her Native American traditions and secrets surrounding her husband’s murder while her adult children are unraveling.
The Ebbing women band together, marching through a chorus of grit and grind to unite a family once rendered powerless by a people who invaded their land. Will the tragic death of one of her daughters cause Ma-Ki to identify the villain and embrace Rose’s newfound faith?
Praise for Porch Music
With the same precision and care that Ma-Ki Ebbing took to create her sawtooth quilt, Kathy Maresca has weaved a story stitched with strength and resiliency. Sixteen-year-old and pregnant Rose, banished from her family home, finds acceptance with Ma who knows the stain of prejudice and hypocrisy only too well. Set in northern Florida during the early fifties in a place where “progress moves backwards instead of forwards,” reflections on Seminole spirituality, Christian faith, and a woman’s strength are the threads that hold the pieces together. Four more characters patch in their own intricate first-person voices to the tapestry. Sharing inner thoughts and experience, each one invites the reader to understand how events impact behavior. Vivid images bring place and time into clear view. And then there’s the music: folk songs, traditional hymns, and even “America the Beautiful” sung at just the right moment, like the appropriate tune that appears out of nowhere to match a mood. A riveting ending promises to unlock truths held captive in long-kept secrets. Ma’s Seminole wisdom adds touches of color that linger like gems in any great work of art: “We live in a white world, better to have them fit in than to teach them things that set them apart.” “Ain’t every Christian bad. But if somebody’s pure evil, you can count on one thing. He’ll call himself a Christian.”
Review by Janette Stone, Military Writers Society of America (February 2023)
A native Floridian, Kathy Gilbert Maresca grew up with a grandmother of Seminole heritage. Kathy served in the Air Force, at the Academy cadet chapel and then at a special operations command. Read more.
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