By Lynda Stephenson
We first meet Frankielee Baxter in the book Dancing with Elvis. Then she is a 1950s teenager dealing with all off the typical teenage trials. To make it more difficult, she has a foster sister who is her polar opposite. Of course, things are never what they seem. She learns of the harsh reality of racism, involving the family housekeeper. She and her sometimes boyfriend solve a mystery along the way, too.
Now, Frankielee is in college. She has blossomed from an awkward teen into a young woman, though she doesn’t yet feel comfortable or confident in her own skin. The college heart-throb takes a liking to Frankielee, though she isn’t quite sure of him or his intentions.
Away from home for the first time, Frankielee realizes that the ways of the world are different than what she is used to. Caught up in sororities and fraternities is new to Frankielee and her friends. Each girl in her dorm is very different than the other. Each girl is trying to find her own way. They decide that the best way is together, and form “The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club”. In this way, they will always have each other.
She quickly learns that times are changing. She is again confronted with racism, as she befriends the first and only black student at the college including her in their club. Frankielee makes some realizations about others, as well as herself.
Frankielee takes us back to a time when the world at large was changing. As she finds herself, we are reminded of some important historical events. I found both books to be entertaining, endearing, and important in their morals and values.