A circle of salt
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My dissertation project is a novel. The year is 1986, and the setting alternates between the small, isolated town of Eudora, Alabama, and Birmingham, that sprawling industrial city founded after the Civil War. The main character, Roni, short for Veronica Silvering, is the only daughter of Sadie Silvering, a backwoods Alabama mystic and healer, of sorts. The supernatural powers that Sadie exhibits are passed down only through the maternal line of families, from mothers to daughters. The central conflict of the novel lies in the fact that Sadie wants Roni to continue her mother’s work as a healer after she dies, but Roni has already determined the path her own life will take. Roni is independent and, at the age of 22, is already busy at work creating a future for herself as an artist, far removed from the culture and landscape of her childhood. Tension results from the consistent tug that Roni feels toward the life created for her by her mother and the life she has envisioned for herself.