ForeWord Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year “Editor’s Choice Award”
Independent Publisher Awards Bronze “Best Regional Fiction South”
Winner of International Book Awards in “Religious Fiction” Category
Set in 1940s Germantown, Tennessee, South of Everything is a magical coming of age story about the daughter of a plantation-owning family, who, despite her privileged background, finds more in common with “the help” than her own family.
She develops a special kinship with her parents’ servant Old Thomas, who introduces her to the mysterious Lolololo Tree––a magical, mystical tree with healing powers that she discovers is wiser than any teacher or parent or priest. Her connection with the Lolololo Tree opens her eyes to the religious and racial prejudice of her surroundings and readers will root for her to fight against injustice and follow her heart to meet her fate.
"When I was a young black girl I knew my place was on the 'other side of the track' of limited opportunities. And then there was Missy Sara, that other girl, who was rebuked for her cosmopolitan imagination and urban dreams and was raised up in high cotton, separate and unequaled, asking questions that whites disregarded. That's just the way it was-with her and for me. This story will take you south of everything."
-Deanie Parker, African America singer/songwriter and former president/CEO of the Soulsville Foundation
"South of Everything is a coming-of-age journey with poignant moments, distinct characters, and a powerful message about love in a time of harsh race relations."
-IndieReader, Starred Review
"In the hands of an adroit storyteller, magical realism has always been one of the most truthful and compelling forms of fiction. Here, Gonzales proves herself to be master of both the form and her material. A beautiful book."
-Phyllis Tickle, American author and lecturer, founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly
"Audrey Taylor Gonzalez has written a magical tale about the realities of religious and racial prejudice, transformed by the author's compassion and depth of understanding of the flawed nature of humanity."
-Jimmy Santiago Baca, American Book Award and Pushcart Prize winning poet and novelist