King, Cassandra 1944-
KING, Cassandra 1944-
PERSONAL: Born 1944, in AL; married Pat Conroy (an author); children: Jim, Jake, Jason.
ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Hyperion Books, 77 West 66th Street, 11th Fl., New York, NY 10023.
CAREER: Author. Taught college-level English and writing in Alabama.
Making Waves in Zion, Black Belt Press (Montgomery, AL), 1995.
The Sunday Wife, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Same Sweet Girls, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Cassandra King was raised in Alabama and moved to South Carolina with author Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides) who she met and married after asking him to write a blurb for her second novel, The Sunday Wife. This story is set in the Florida town of Crystal Springs, the new home of Dean Lynch, where Lynch's preacher husband Ben has been assigned a new and affluent Methodist congregation. Dean comes from a poor, musical family, and her husband's ambitions clash with her own simple leanings. Dean was educated through her church after she was orphaned, and although she did well, her greatest pleasure continues to be playing piano and dulcimer. In the new parish, her husband presses her into service, requiring her to manage the choir rather than pursue her own music.
Life changes for Dean when she is befriended by Augusta Holderfield, a wealthy beauty inclined to incite scandal within the ladies' church groups and whose friends include a gay couple and the owner of a New Age shop. Augusta is tolerated in the community because she is married to Maddox Holderfield, heir to the plantation house of a respectable society family. Through Augusta, Dean learns to deal with her husband's demands, become more independent, and pursue activities she finds rewarding, such as tutoring the children of poor migrant workers.
Library Journal's Shelley Mosley wrote that as Dean's inner spirit surfaces, "all aspects of institutional religious hypocrisy, intolerance, ultraconservatism, and general self-righteousness are fair game." Booklist contributor Patty Engelmann said King "captures the redolence of the South and the trickiness of Bible-belt society." Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum reviewed The Sunday Wife for Bookreporter.com online, calling it "a compelling, moving, poignant novel that speaks to the vicissitudes of marriage, the ebb and flow of friend-ships, the delicate balance of maintaining one's integrity in a small community, and the necessity of claiming those things that make each of us a whole self."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, Patty Engelmann, review of The Sunday Wife, p. 1797.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2002, review of The Sunday Wife, p. 907.
Library Journal, August, 2002, Shelley Mosely, review of The Sunday Wife, p. 143.
Publishers Weekly, July 15, 2002, review of The Sunday Wife, p. 54.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (September, 2002), Arlene McKanic, review of The Sunday Wife.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (September 27, 2002), interview with King; (October 18, 2002) Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum, review of The Sunday Wife.
Cassandra King Home Page,http://www.cassandrakingconroy.com (December 2, 2002).
Southern Scribe,http://www.southernsribe.com/ (October 18, 2002), Pam Kingsbury, review of The Sunday Wife.*