by Cordell Adams
The idea for this story came from my life growing up in Jacksonville, a small town in East Texas, south of Tyler. Several years ago, I wrote a memoir for my extended family about a few tales I remembered of my maternal grandmother's life. At the end of that project, I realized that my grandmother's appeal as an insightful and entertaining character must be shared with a broader audience.
After studying creative writing, and with a bit of coaching, I wrote the novel. I synthesized the essence of my grandmother's spirit into a three-dimensional protagonist named Veola Cook. Veola felt summoned on a God-given mission to improve life in her community. She had a smile, genuine or politely pasted on, and a few chosen words of advice, solicited or not, for her family and friends as well as the families she worked for as a domestic.
The South in the late 1960s provides the backdrop for this slice-of-life story of Veola who possesses insatiable curiosity, a respect for and interest in keeping any man on the right track, a healthy sense of humor, and a desire o fill everyone's bellies. The main commodity that crossed racial barriers in the segregated South of the late 60s was food. Blacks and whites alike called white, store-bought bread "light bread," thus the name for the story.