Title: The Lady
Author: Judy Higgins
Genre: Coming of Age*
Story Takes Place: 1943; 1956; 2000
Published By: GossArt (October 16, 2013)
“An interesting read with some compelling answers that will appeal to a cross-section of people in the same way that ‘The Help’ personalized the struggles of black maids in 1960’s Mississippi.”
–ABNA Expert Reviewer.
“Quincy is an engaging protagonist, part young woman, part immature girl, who is at once trying to forge a future for herself while seeking to uncover hidden details about the past. Racial divides and small-town prejudices add depth to this uniquely crafted novel with expert plotting and effortless pacing.”
— ABNA Publishers Weekly Reviewer.
About the Author: Judy Higgins grew up in South Georgia. She enjoyed playing baseball, reading and taking piano lessons. She raised chickens and sold eggs to her community to pay for those lessons.
Judy attended both Mercer University, in Macon, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas where in Baylor she received her Bachelor of Arts in German Literature. She also received a masters in German Literature from the University of Michigan. Once graduated, she taught German for a couple of years and then decided to pursue further education. She did a Masters of Art in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Somewhere between all this wonderful pursuit of learning, Judy had two children.
Judy, only recently returned from Qatar where she had taken an eight year post as Head of Library with the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She is now back living in the U.S. residing in Kentucky.
About the Story: Sixteen year old Quincy had a dream to be a concert pianist, but came from a poor family who could not afford piano lessons. When her father and mother decide to do missionary work in Africa, she could not go with them. She could stay with either one of her two aunts, Aunt Mildred or Aunt Addy. Luckily her mother insisted she stay with Aunt Addy, who had the means to support Quincy.
In the process of understanding who she was, and learning how to be a better piano player, she was also learning about how much she loved her Aunt Addy and how glad she was that she hadn’t had to stay with Aunt Mildred. Quincy discovers that decisions made can direct the rest of a person’s life.
My Thoughts: I have never been to South Georgia except this once when Judy Higgins took me there. Her description of the rural town where Quincy grew up and the slightly larger town where her Aunt Addy lived made me feel that I knew the place and the people. Her writing style is easy flowing and the story well-paced. From the first couple of pages she captured my attention. I particularly enjoyed that Quincy’s was telling the story in the novel. It is not that common to have a character narrate the story and can be a bit tricky. Judy pulled it off without a hitch! Judy, with her background of growing up in Georgia was able to touch on social issues of the time. We were able to see how the young people were influenced by the beliefs of older generations. When Quincy was learning the piano, it took me back to my lessons and how my instructor taught. Again Judy made me hear the music with her words alone, as if I were playing the piano. I highly recommend this book to young people and older. It is a book of inspiration and love in following your dreams. I hope it won’t be too long until she writes another book.
*A main characteristic of a coming-of age novel is that the protagonist will undergo experiences resulting in inner growth and development as a person. These experiences may involve the death of a loved one, a war, family turmoil or adventure. The goal of such experiences is to make the protagonist stronger and wiser. Another characteristic is that the protagonist is often young and naive at the beginning of the story, and the coming-of-age marks his transition into adulthood.