Skip to main content

Gone Crazy in Alabama

Review

Gone Crazy in Alabama

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern Gaither are back! With Delphine in charge, the trio --- now 12, 10 and 8 years of age, respectively --- head to Alabama to spend the summer of 1969 with their grandmother (Big Ma) and great-grandmother (Ma Charles). Obviously, the Deep South is nothing like Brooklyn, New York. There are a slew of unexpected experiences, which keep Delphine constantly on her toes since she has to deal with Vonetta's and Fern's outspoken viewpoints and persnickety ways. It doesn't help that Ma Charles has an estranged relationship with her stepsister, even though Delphine discovers eye-popping information about the Gaither ancestry along the way. Yet all the Alabama craziness pales in comparison to when Vonetta suddenly disappears during a tornado.

A storyteller extraordinaire, Williams-Garcia's forte is in creating multihued and multifaceted characters within an equally multihued and multifaceted plot.

Award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia combines genealogy and southern adventures in the third and final chapter of the beloved Gaither sisters. As in Williams-Garcia's companion novels, ONE CRAZY SUMMER and its sequel P.S. BE ELEVENDelphine follows as the principal heroine and featured narrator in GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA. Williams-Garcia unfolds the continuing saga of three girls who have to face life --- most often alone --- amid dysfunctional familial circumstances, and this time in the Deep South. Of course, someone needs to be watching out for the younger siblings. This is where Delphine takes the lead role as she and her sisters share in a mixed set of experiences, including the Apollo 11 moon landing, racial tension, the KKK and the complex world of Big Ma and Ma Charles.

A storyteller extraordinaire, Williams-Garcia's forte is in creating multihued and multifaceted characters within an equally multihued and multifaceted plot that is delicately replete with African American history. While much of the embedded history is familiar to most, Williams-Garcia also smartly stitches in little known pieces, including Delphine's list of classic African American literature (THINGS FALL APART by Chinua Achebe, THE SOUL BROTHERS AND SISTER LOU by Kristen Hunter Lattany and THE OUTSIDER by Richard Wright) and African American genealogy that includes Native Americans and descendants of Creek Freedmen.

Heartwarming, uproariously funny, and filled with nonstop adventures, GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA is indubitably a must-read for all Delphine-Vonetta-Fern fans.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on April 30, 2015

Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2016
  • Genres: Family Life, Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad
  • ISBN-10: 0062215892
  • ISBN-13: 9780062215895