The Women of the House:
One Hundred Years, One Georgia Family
by Jane Anne Mallet Settle Violet Press

"Prop the torn photograph of three women on a marble topped table in the parlor. Look first at the oldest, the figure on the left, the stern, black-clad woman in her fifties—Effie Jane Fletcher McKibben. Surround the picture with her cut crystal and china. Go up to the attic and scrunch back under the eaves. Pull out the old trunks and search..."

More than the collective memories of three generations of women from one Georgia family, The Women of the House, is a splendidly rendered Literature of fact, employing vivid setting and period details that render a trilogy of the memorable life stories of Jane Anne Mallet Settle's mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Combining firsthand observations of the people and events that comprise the sympathetic and witty narrative portraits of The Women of the House with an engaging writing style, Settle—a member of the fourth generation of the Heritage home—moves beyond her place within the stories by incorporating a finely tuned balance of reflective details and emotions to create a unified theme of the strength and determination of the women of the Heritage. The Jackson, Georgia, two-story frame home with its steep slate roof and wraparound porch was built by Settle’s great grandparents. The completed house, Settle writes: "not ostentatious or overly ornamented by end-of-the-century standard was not a showplace. It was a well planned, well built, spacious family home. For more than a hundred years, so it has remained." At the heart of Settle's well planned and well built creative nonfiction narrative are the realistic depictions of the universal emotions that encompassed the hardships of wars and the Great Depression, premature deaths of children, and middle-age widowhood.

Additionally, many of the narrative details found within The Women of the House are the result of Settle's two decades of research, which entailed sorting through a treasure of papers, letters, newspaper clippings, postcard, photographs etc. But, rather than becoming merely a cataloger of stories and events, Settle filters the information through her own experiences and imagination to provide readers with the necessary background and incite to establish an intimate connection with each of the three featured women of the Heritage house. Settle writes "on the back of the photo of Mary Lane, taken a year or so before her marriage she later inscribed a message—'Remember me! When Mother and Father returned from a visit to Kib at Yale and brought me that pointed Fox Fur from the furriers in New York where Hugh later purchased my coat on our honeymoon in Nov. 1922.'"

Part family memoir, part time travel, The Women of the House, has the depth and complexity necessary to entice and emotionally link a legacy of past and future generations of readers.

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