Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.F.A.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

John Henry Fleming, Ph.D.

Keywords

Fiction, Southern fiction, Adolescent fiction, Family secrets, Drama

Abstract

Tumbleweed Road is a novel that began as a short story in a fiction workshop many years ago. The novel is set in the contemporary American South and traces one tumultuous summer in the life of a 14-year-old girl named Carolina Wells. The plot of the story is as follows: Carolina, a 14-year-old girl from Crow, Florida, does not understand her mother and remembers little about her past. In the story, we meet Carolina, her mother, "Mama," and two brothers, Johnny and Austin. Carolina does not understand her mother and her wild nature. At home, Carolina is forced to care for her two younger brothers. Carolina's father is long gone out of the picture, and Carolina was always told by her mother that she has no father - no one worth speaking of, anyway. Carolina can't remember why her father is gone, but remembers the fight that caused him to leave, and she blames her mother entirely for his leaving when she was just a toddler. Carolina questions her Mama about the disappearance of her father, but she refuses to even speak his name. Carolina desperately wants normalcy, family, and love - through a series of life-changing events involving a range of characters, including a spiritual woman across Tumbleweed Road, a mysterious girl named West and an old friend named Cade, this novel is about Carolina's quest to find her place in this world.

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