Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

Committee Chair

Richard Bausch

Committee Member

Lorinda Cohoon

Committee Member

Sonja Livingston


This fictional novel, which explores familial relationships stretching across generations, is told from the points of view of three female characters. Amber, whose voice opens the novel, has been crippled by the loss of her eight-year-old daughter. Although their daughter's loss casts heavy shadows over their marriage, the couple agrees to take in two girls who were removed from their home as a result of parental drug abuse. Sarah, the mother of one of the girls, is the second narrator, and she becomes embattled with Amber in attempt to keep custody of her daughter. The final speaker is Mabel, Charlie's grandmother, who fears the destruction of family after losing two sisters and interjects herself into the conflict to side with Sarah. The primary conflict of the novel is the custody battle over the two children, but the story also explores the effects of loss on relationships, especially on Amber and Charlie's marriage. Sisterhood and family bonds also take center stage, with Mabel torn between her loyalty to Amber and Charlie and her belief that Sarah should be with her daughter. Whether she makes the right choice becomes the central question of the novel.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.