Join us for our April Book Club as we welcome author Meagan Church to speak with us about her novel The Last Carolina Girl (on sale March 28th) on Thursday April 20th at 7:00pm on Zoom.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A searing book club novel for fans of Where the Crawdad's Sing and The Girls in the Stilt House following one girl fighting for her family, her body, and her right to create a future all her own
Some folks will do anything to control the wild spirit of a Carolina girl...
For fourteen-year-old Leah Payne, life in her beloved coastal Carolina town is as simple as it is free. Devoted to her lumberjack father and running through the wilds where the forest meets the shore, Leah's country life is as natural as the Loblolly pines that rise to greet the Southern sky.
When an accident takes her father's life, Leah is wrenched from her small community and cast into a family of strangers with a terrible secret. Separated from her only home, Leah is kept apart from the family and forced to act as a helpmate for the well-to-do household. When a moment of violence and prejudice thrusts Leah into the center of the state's shameful darkness, she must fight for her own future against a world that doesn't always value the wild spirit of a Carolina girl.
Set in 1935 on the North Carolina coast, The Last Carolina Girl is an emotional Southern novel from debut author Meagan Church which follows Leah Payne, a headstrong young girl who is orphaned at the age of 14 and placed with a foster family where, by hidden motives, is eventually sent to be forced sterilized at the hand of state eugenics laws. Based on the very real backdrop of a recently formed state eugenics board, The Last Carolina Girl is a powerful and heart-wrenching story of fierce strength, forgotten history, autonomy, and the places and people we ultimately call home.
Inspired by the author’s own family history, The Last Carolina Girl uncovers a dark time in our nation’s history where forced sterilization was a common and legal practice in 32 states. It was primarily leveraged against people deemed “mentally unfit” to raise children, a vast majority of them women, and persisted until the late 1970s. This touching story of a girl fighting for a future of her own choosing addresses the broader theme of the right to parenthood in terms of who, how, and when, and will enchant readers of novels which have raised similar questions including A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult, Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and even Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After receiving a degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Indiana University, Meagan Church built a career as a storyteller and freelance writer for brands, blogs and organizations. Her fiction focuses on overlooked and oppressed women’s voices from the past.
A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets. To learn more about her writing, visit www.MeaganChurch.com, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @mchurchwriter.