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Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
Billy Beede, 16, pregnant, and orphaned and living in a trailer in poor Texas town, finds out that her mother's grave in Arizona is going to be plowed up to make way for a supermarket. Billy is the heiress to her mother's estate, which is expected to be a cache of jewels from her mother's rich boyfriend, Dill Smiles, that were supposedly buried with her. So Billy steals Dill's truck and heads to Arizona to claim her mother's body, and her fortune, with Dill and others in hot pursuit. It's a light-hearted ode to William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and author Suzan-Lori Parks tells the story from the different points of view of many of the characters involved in the novel. Generating praise from many reviewers, Salon.com says, "Getting Mother's Body is much more than a cleverly told coming-of-age tale. At turns funny and poignant, tragic and transcendent, Parks' novel careers along like the best sort of road movie."