Fifteen-year-old Shelby’s life has spiraled out of control since her little brother died and her parents divorced. She fights at school, lashes out at her mother, and can’t find a way to pull herself out of her self-centered vortex of anger, fear, and grief. When Shelby inadvertently finds her great grandfather’s Ku Klux Klan robe and a cryptic message embroidered in a family quilt, Shelby and her conflicted, gay, best friend Darrin drive traumatized Grandma to her hometown in North Carolina to help her make amends with the past.
“The Memory of Cotton” by Ann K. Howley is a heartfelt YA novel about relationships and coming to terms with your past-no matter how painful it might be. Sometimes we must go back and revisit the hurt in order to move on. Ann Howley’s debut novel explores friendship, family dynamics, loss, and love. It is filled with vivid descriptions, a tightly written plot, and characters you definitely want to read more of.