"Any girl who kisses boys is giving her husband a sucked-out orange when she marries." Sister Helena is framed by French doors. In the garden behind her, camellias are blooming; beyon them, the row of oaks laced with Spanish moss leads to the convent's main building. Sister Helena has changed my life. She made Shakespeare more real to me than the Cleaver family; I know Dante the way my peers in the outside world know Frankie Avalon. Sister Helena calls me her "little Emily Dickinson." I will languish in a garden writing beautiful poems that no one will read until after I die. I will die juicy.
So begins this electrifying first novel.
Katherine Pierson, raised in the isolation of a Mississippi River town and educated in a convent school, careens into adulthood when she marries a man twelve years her senior. Nothing in her sheltered past prepares her for marriage, the subsequent responsibilities of motherhood, and the slow death of her warm, intelligent, and spirited self. And when she chooses to leave behind all that she knows to grasp at a passion she has never known, nothing prepares her for the painful choice she will have to make when her attempt at rebirth ends in disaster.
Midnight Lemonade was published in 1993 by Delacorte Press.
praise for midnight lemonade
“Ms. Goethe’s novel resembles a symphony, starting out quietly and descriptively, becoming solid and momentous midway through, and ending with a recapitulation that is both affecting and well earned.”
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Goethe writes with lyric intensity, tart humor and serious insight about a woman’s life… [She] has a sure, wry touch with scenes of domestic life, both hilarious and sobering, and her narrative hums with energy and dramatic suspense.”
“…her writing takes your breath away.”
"First time novelist Ann Goethe has written a stunner of a book. . .destined to occupy a prominent place in the ranks of the modern Southern novel.
NEWS-FREE PRESS, Chattanooga
“Novelist Ann Goethe has created a bright, amusing woman who has the misfortune to be born just a little too soon to benefit from the woman’s movement.”
THE BALTIMORE SUN
“Ms. Goethe is a marvelous writer who offers us a tale well-told with more than a little food for thought.”
THE LITERARY LANTERN
“Written with humor and empathy, Goethe’s story is tied together by the terrifying love a mother feels for her children. This is the first novel and a very good one.”
“Impressive first novel.”
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“This debut novel begins with a voice so fresh and strong it stands on its own and demands to be listened to, laughed at, empathized with, appreciated.”
“Goethe succeeds admirably in creating a fresh compelling voice.”
TIMES PICAYUNE, New Orleans
“Take Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, set it in the 1960’s and 70’s add irreverent humor and a more optimistic resolution. What you’ll get is Midnight Lemonade.”
NEWS & RECORD, Greensboro, NC
“This unflinching novel gets stronger with every turn of the page.”
MORNING-STAR TELEGRAM, Fort Worth, TX
“In Ann Goethe’s first novel, the reader feels like she is looking at somebody’s family scrapbook. Each photo tells a story and is crisp, clear and evocative.”
THE BATON ADVOCATE