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When Southern Girls Grow Old: Three Homecomings

About the Book

When Southern Girls Grow Old: Three Homecomings

When Southern Girls Grow Old follows the Horton girls --- Mavis, Sammie Jo, and Elmira --- as they move into old age. Despite differences in circumstances and temperament, they face the common challenge of becoming more truly and fully their best selves as they grow older. Their stories are about retirement and friendship, hurting and healing, aging and coming to grips, being old and being young, who’s sane and who’s crazy and who’s just excited, and getting and giving love and having enough left over to forgive, if not forget.

Elizabeth Doak Sherman tells how impending old age sends these three otherwise sensible women around the bend before --- with humor and hope --- they right themselves and find their way back home. When Mavis Horton’s boss (and lover) replaces her with a younger woman, Mavis takes on a new persona, gets even, and takes a trip in search of her lost childhood. Upon celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary, Sammie Jo changes her name, her direction in life, and runs away. As a retired police dispatcher, Elmira wallpapers her house with jigsaw puzzles, falls in love with an Elvis look-alike, and follows her heart to Memphis. In the wake of such shenanigans, each woman discovers new facets of herself and new reasons for living.

Although Sherman's voice is inherently southern, the issues she raises are both universal and contemporary. Old age may appear boring to the young, but, she points out, to those actually going through it, it is new and unchartered territory. Thus, old people make up their own rules. And, if we're lucky, sooner or later the rest of us will have the opportunity to do the same.

With census figures showing a rapidly aging population, Sherman's book fills a vacuum for senior readers. Bookstore and library shelves overflow with how-to manuals offering advice on everything from managing health problems to living on a fixed income, yet there remains a scarcity of fiction about the elderly themselves and how it feels to be old. With hilarious episodes and heart-warming characters, Southern Girls seeks to fill that void.

The book is a quick read with short lively scenes and fast-paced dialogue. Divided into three parts, it makes an ideal choice for book clubs and lends itself to a series of lively discussions. 

When Southern Girls Grow Old: Three Homecomings is available for sale online at,, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.

When Southern Girls Grow Old: Three Homecomings
by Elizabeth Doak Sherman

  • Publication Date: September 29, 2008
  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1439209871
  • ISBN-13: 9781439209875