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Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton - Book Tour

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The heart has a home when it has an ally.  

If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

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Before I was saddened and ashamed of my father, I loved him without reservation. But I learned the hard way some things can alter love’s form, and disillusionment is one of them. My mother said, in the beginning, Sean Crossan was larger than life and predictable.
A massive six-foot-three Irish American, whom many would define as a man’s man, in that he exemplified all things commanding and virile. Solid and imposing, a product of Minnesota’s timbered sky-blue waters, he was never more at home than when he was outdoors. He met my mother in 1950 while crossing the Atlantic aboard the Queen Mary as he travelled to school at the Sorbonne in Paris.
He’d been peripherally aware of my mother’s debutant friends, who were on board as a group, en route to tour Europe. My mother said everyone in the group had been all atwitter over the mysterious Yankee on board, who solitarily walked the ship’s bow at night smoking a pipe. My mother was competitive for an eighteen-year-old girl.
She assessed the competition quickly and strategically devised a plan. She waited patiently for her peers to spin a web around Sean Crossan. Then, when the timing was right, she elbowed them all out and moved in for the kill. After they married, my father knew he had done what was expected of him. He’d completed his education and settled down with a wife in the affluent suburb of Wayzata, not far from his parents’ home, near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.
His friends were exceedingly well-to-do, the scions of families at the helm of such flourishing companies as Cargill, Pillsbury, and General Mills. He was charismatic, able, and self-assured, yet it didn’t encourage his father to acknowledge his worth. George Crossan, my grandfather, was a twisted and bitter man, consumed with jealousy by his only son’s virility.
A first-generation Irish-American, George Crossan had followed in his father’s footsteps and taken up the presidency of the Crossan Lumber Yard in Minneapolis. Four years into his tenure, a freak accident changed his outlook on life when he was deprived the use of his right leg and rendered an amputee. In time, he took to drinking Irish whisky, and sat in his wheelchair deep in the throes of his shades-drawn den, feeding a manic depression that relegated his three children to tiptoe warily past, lest they trigger the rage he nurtured every night.
His long-suffering wife Helen was devoutly Catholic, and interfered for her children until she could do it no more. The taxing years of living with George grew untenable, and the leukaemia that resulted sent her to an early grave, the very year I was born.

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