Patricia is born during WWII when racial segregation is a way of life, particularly in the south. A few years earlier in the small cotton mill town her father’s poor judgment forces her parents and eventually their eight children to live in a crude, unpainted, three-room dwelling located in an isolated area of four houses for African Americans. They have no electricity or running water, and a stonecovered spring in the woods becomes a special place for mischief. A single tree, a chinaberry, adjacent to the house serves many purposes.
Home, church, and school are the Littletons’ family core, while their experiences are laced with fun, humor, and mischief. However, when temperamental Hazel, an adult bully, moves next door, there are conflicts, which escalate into unnerving, dangerous situations, especially with Patricia’s easygoing, soft-spoken mother. Hazel ridicules Patricia, who is smart, timid, and labeled a crybaby and stubborn in school. By high school, Patricia blossoms and becomes popular, but later her father warns her of wooden nickels. www.chinaberriesandbeyond.com