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“In 1964 Ibby Bell's father passed away, causing her mother to abandon Ibby to the care of her eccentric grandmother, Fannie, and her grandmother's black housemaids, a mother and daughter duo named Queenie and Dollbaby. Fannie lives in an old New Orleans mansion which hasn't changed over the years, its boarded rooms harboring tragic memories from the past. With help from Queenie and Dollbaby, Ibby unearths family history that Fannie had long ago buried. Can Ibby come to terms with what she's discovered? A compelling debut novel that demands and deserves attention.”
— Courtney Kane, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
“In this tender coming-of-age novel, McNeal brings to life a place, an era, and an amazing cast of strong, larger-than-life characters. Heartrending, captivating, and ultimately, triumphant.”
—Cassandra King, New York Times bestselling author of Moonrise
“McNeal’s Dollbaby is such an impressive debut—a powerful roux of family drama, long-simmering secrets and resentments, and ultimately, forgiveness and redemption. Deeply evocative, with memorable characters, Dollbaby belongs on the keeper shelf along with The Help and The Secret Life of Bees.”
—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Ladies' Night
“Deeply southern and evocative, Laura Lane McNeal’s beautifully written debut, Dollbaby, takes us back to a not-so-long ago time when we were learning to look through different eyes at the fabric of our society, race, youth and family."
—Susan Crandall, author of Whistling Past the Graveyard
"This flavorful and enthralling novel brilliantly captures New Orleans during the civil rights era. It's a deeply personal tale about growing up and searching for family as well as a provocative exploration of race and kinship. I found it both thrilling and poignant."
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs