Dream of Meeting Ray Charles Drives Orphan to Overcome Adversity in Goodlife, Mississippi
Original, Mississippi-born award-winning photojournalist and news and feature writer, Eileen Saint Lauren, captures the heart and touches the soul in her new book, Goodlife, Mississippi. Saint Lauren masterfully weaves historical truths with magical realism through the constant threading of the ordinary with the extraordinary and supernatural alongside experiences of a questionably biracial young girl growing up in the repressive culture of the 1950s and ’60s Deep South in a book that cannot be put down until the last page is read. Saint Lauren fills her reader’s eyes with light in an otherwise dark era leaving the reader pinning for more.
In 1950s and ’60s Mississippi, Mary “Myra” Boone is a Southern girl battling with complex feelings of guilt, loss and segregation. By age 12, she’s already had to persevere through a lifetime of experiences—from watching a housefire change her life forever, through enduring the prejudices of having been born questionably biracial, to the supernatural religious experiences in the Piney Woods.
Goodlife, Mississippi immerses readers in the first 12 years of Myra’s life. The setting begins in the rural town of Meridian, Mississippi, and then moves on to the fictional city of Goodlife, where Myra persists through hilariously sad adversities because of her dream of meeting Ray Charles Robinson and her natural sense of place in the grand scheme of life: her true calling. Though Myra’s scars—inside and out—will remain, she emerges a young woman of compassion with a self-forged faith in the underlying goodness of the universe and her value in the world.
It is Saint Lauren’s aim to provoke readers “to contemplate an understanding and tolerance of people whose life experiences and perceptions appear outside the norm though are very real,” she said. “Goodlife, Mississippi’s timeless voices of every color and social class both together reflect the message of compassion, forgiveness and love.”
Lee Martin, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Bright Forever, had this to say: “Eileen Saint Lauren has created a memorable character who will linger with you long after the final page. Goodlife, Mississippi is an inspirational book of faith set among the rhythms and customs of a not-so-distant Mississippi.”
Goodlife, Mississippi comes with a Study Guide.
For more information and to view a book trailer, visit http://eileensaintlauren.net. Follow her on social media at http://www.facebook.com/EileenSaintLaurenWriter; www.instagram.com/eileensaintlauren/; www.Twitter.com/@sainteileen1; and www.tiktok.com/@eileensaintlauren.
Publisher: Eileen Saint Lauren Books | Book Design: Arash Jahani | Release Date: November 1, 2022
Available at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and all independent bookstores