A few weeks ago, I spoke to a book club in one of Nashville’s area retirement homes.  It was down the street from my childhood home.  This was not my first visit there, and I always look forward to spending time with my more aged friends.  (Besides, they treat me to fabulous lunch with the best banana pudding.)

Only one or two of the residents had lived their entire lives in Nashville, the setting for The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove was set.  Most, however, did spend their adult lives there.  It was fascinating for me to gain their perspectives about this story, placed in those final dark hours before the Civil Rights movement really took hold.  They were interested in looking back.  Instead, they wanted to discuss how things had changed in their lifetimes, for the better.  They were open minded and forward thinking, and I left wishing I could spend more time with them all.

At end of our discussion, a woman came up to me and wanted to ask a question that she had not felt comfortbale asking in front of the group.

“I just want to know if there is some romance in this book?”

“Yes,” I promised her.  “More than in my first.” Then I shared with her a story about writing the love scenes for this book.  I explained how my daughetrs do not like to think of their mother knowing anything about a passionate sexual encounter.  I explained that I sent all of the love scenes to a friend and asked if she thought I had explained them appropriately, accurately, but a bit poetically.  My friend reported that I had hit the mark but that my girls were so going to know that I’d had sex now!

The elder woman and I laughed.  And she said, “Good, I still like a little action.”

I’m still thinking about that day and don’t know that I quite have the words to describe what it meant to me.  But I do know that I’ll be going back.

Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:33 am · 2 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. bermudaonion (Kathy), September 13th, 2011, 9:38 am

    She sounds like a firecracker! I hope I'm that way when I get older.
  2. Randal patrick, September 15th, 2011, 9:22 pm

    Great story Susan!

Leave a Comment

Susan Gregg Gilmore