This highly praised first novel by fiction writer Julia Oliver is the story of one young woman's struggle with fidelity and identity in depression-era rural Alabama.
A beautifully narrated novel of time and place, Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky re-creates a southern summer when the depression and the boll weevil turned hopes to dust. With the extraordinary talent to make the reader see the Ball canning jars on the kitchen table, hear the clicks on the party line, and feel the bittersweet moments of 20-year-old Callie Tatum's first experiences with adult desire, Oliver portrays a young wife’s increasingly dangerous infidelity with cinematic precision and palpable suspense. Soon, with only her housekeeper as a confidant, Callie breaks society’s rules about race and class as well as her marriage vows. The result is a chain of events that will lead to tragedy and a woman’s stunning decision about love, passion, and the future of her life.
Originally published in cloth in 1994, Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky received considerable attention nationally and became a featured selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club. Its inclusion in the Deep South Books series from The University of Alabama Press will extend the book’s reach and its life, while offering new readers access to the enthralling story.
The richly drawn, fully developed characters of Buttermilk Sky live on in the reader’s mind long after the book has been finished. Against the emotional and physical isolation of rural Alabama in 1938, the threads of family ties, whispered gossip, old secrets, and unfulfilled dreams weave a powerful, evocative story that captivates its reader until the very last word.