It’s 1937 in Mimosa, Mississippi, and fourteen-year-old Max Brinkmann is a happy kid in the lively railroad town: he and his buddies keep their eyes on the cute girls at school, he and his little brothers make and fly kites, and he dreams of running track and playing baseball at Mimosa High School.
But when Max’s father, Josef (a devout Roman Catholic), announces that the small Catholic school in Mimosa is closing, Max’s world is turned upside down. Not only is Josef moving the family to a farm in the middle of nowhere—to remove Max and his six younger siblings from the “temptations of the city”—the only option for a Catholic education is enrollment at nearby St. Agnes Academy. An all-girls school.
Max is overwhelmed by classes of young women and more nuns than he’s ever seen, not to mention a new home without electricity and indoor plumbing. Even worse, his hardhearted, Rosary-a-day father seems intent on making his oldest son as miserable as possible. Max’s friends? Forget them. Hobbies and dreams and goals? Not hardly. Even one speck of something close to fun? Sorry, Max, go chop the wood.
Forsaking Mimosa is a timeless story of a disillusioned boy who grows into a man in a most unlikely environment. Along the way he comes to know the redeeming power of “home” as he faces tragedy, falls in love, and makes important discoveries about himself, his faith, and ultimately his enigmatic father.
“With carefully crafted language, Valerie Winn draws us into the world of Depression-era rural Mississippi . . . and helps us understand the soul of the South.”
—Daisy Karam-Read, author of From Manhattan to Mississippi
“Valerie Winn’s Forsaking Mimosa is a funny, touching, coming-of-age tale.”
—Neil White, author of In The Sanctuary of Outcasts
“Valerie Winn has a winner in her first novel. Forsaking Mimosa is a must read.”
—Sheri Krause, Mississippi Catholic
“Winn has created a storyline that’s believable and open to further development as the principal characters pursue their future.”
—Susan O’Bryan, Madison County Herald
“Winn brings together a cast of characters searching for belonging and a sense of purpose…”
—Cecily Cummings, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS)
“Good stories draw the reader into the world created by the author . . . Winn succeeded with this reader.”
—Bill Scaggs, Legends Magazine
“ . . . author Valerie Winn employs both heart and humor in (this) coming-of-age tale . . .”