In July, NPR’s Backseat Book Club is heading to Hanging Moss, Miss., and boy, is it hot. Hanging Moss is the setting for Glory Be, by Augusta Scattergood. The time is 1964, and this coming-of-age story intersects with the country’s own coming of age during the civil rights era.
Gloriana June Hemphill is an 11-year-old who can’t wait to celebrate her July 4 birthday at the community pool. She loves to read Nancy Drew, and has never met a Yankee. She’s white, and growing up in the South, her life has been one of privilege — spending hours at the local library, and eating pie with her best friend, Frankie.
But the summer of 1964 brings seismic change to Hanging Moss — and not just because Glory’s older sister is suddenly interested in boys. It’s a year that will teach her a lot about bigotry, loyalty and bravery.