Reese Witherspoon selected DéLana R. A. Dameron’s Redwood Court as the February pick for her popular book club.
Dameron’s novel, published Tuesday by Dial Press, tells the story of three generations of a family living in a Black suburb of Columbia, South Carolina. A critic for Kirkus wrote of the book, “Dameron argues that people are made of their stories in this poignant novel about a young Black girl looking for her roots.”
In an interview with INDY Week, Dameron said her novel was inspired by her own family. “Yes, the characters are very close to people in my family and my neighborhoods where I grew up, but I also filled in a lot of fiction in the space between what I know and what I imagined. In that way, they become different stories for me. I’m interested in telling a truthful story about ordinary Black Southern folks in a very specific time frame (the ’90s) in a very specific place (Columbia, South Carolina). I didn’t want accuracy to get in the way of that truth telling.”
Witherspoon announced the book’s selection in an Instagram video, accompanied by her French bulldog, Minnie Pearl. “Our February book is here!” she (Witherspoon, not Minnie) said. “I’m so excited to reveal it to you, but first I want to tell you a little bit about it. It’s set in the 1990s, and it’s a collection of vignettes all centered around this Southern Black family, told from the youngest daughter’s point of view. Her name is Mika. It’s all about home and a sense of belonging. I can’t wait for you to read it.”
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.