Monday, March 30, 2009


Randall Mackey is walking home from his friend Jaybird's house one night when he sees Queenie Avery, an elderly neighbor, shuffling down the street in her nightgown and high heels, clutching her red purse to her chest. Queenie has always been a friend of Randall's, but lately she has begun to act a little strange, and folks in Randall's small southern town are starting to wonder whether she might need more care than her husband can provide. Randall follows Queenie, and in the process, he sees a mother leave her baby, in a cardboard box, on the steps of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church.

Over the next few weeks, the entire town begins to squabble about who will take care of Baby Moses. The pastor's wife, Mrs. Jennings, doesn't have her own children and believes Moses was left specifically for her. Miss Frieda is a licensed foster care mother and thinks she should take care of Moses. Soon everyone is taking sides. Randall could solve the problem, but he is afraid to tell anyone his secret, because he doesn't want people to know about Queenie's wanderings.

I loved O'Connor's portrayal of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. Imperfect people leading imperfect lives, but doing the best that they can, despite their faults, to love and care for each other. In my mind, that's about as good as the church ever gets.

Real characters. Real problems. Real truths. Real goodness. Another terrific read by Barbara O'Connor.

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