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KAREN CASEY FITZJERRELL. Forgiving Effie Beck

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KAREN CASEY FITZJERRELL. Forgiving Effie Beck. Paperback. WKMA Publishing. $15. www.karencaseyfitzjerrell.com

Forgiving Effie Beck offers a snapshot glimpse of the social order that existed in small town America during the Great Depression. The backdrop for the story is a community both paralyzed and comforted by sameness and tradition. It is that attitude which sets the stage for deception and isolates some of the town’s beloved citizens.

Mike LeMay, a Federal Writers’ Project interviewer, arrives in Cooperville, Texas, a ranching-farming town, a few days before the town eccentric, Effie Beck, is reported missing. While conducting interviews for his FWP work he learns that elderly Miss Effie moved “like brown smoke” on the outer edges of Cooperville society. What happened to Effie Beck, that she’d walk out of her small ranch house and disappear? What secrets did she take with her?