Susan Rebecca White

A Soft Place to Land, White's new novel, has only traces of her humor. It is a family story start to finish and is intelligent, serious business.

This novel has that most valuable of assets, a great first chapter. It is fall, 1998, in Atlanta. Louise Parker, 47, is going to pick up her mother-in-law, Nanny Rose, to drive her to their maid's funeral. Sandy was 65, an African-American, and a perfect servant for 33 years.