Set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, The View from Delphi is the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida, one wealthy and white and the other poor and black, who have only two things in common—the devastating loss of their sons, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another.
Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi’s racist Sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can’t keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a manger scene, gunning for the baby Jesus, Hazel is sedated and bed-ridden. Vida is hired as a maid by Hazel’s husband to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife. Spending time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn the town on its head.
The View from Delphi is the story of a town, a people, and a society on the verge of great changes—and great changes begin with small things, like friendship.
Jonathan Odell was born and raised in Mississippi, growing up in the institutional segregation of a small town. In college he became and activist and sold The Ebony Pictorial History of Black America door to door in black neighborhoods across the South while the Klan tried to discourage him.
He spent his business career as a leadership coach to Fortune 500 companies.
He now resides in Minnesota. The View from Delphi is his first novel.
“Odell ultimately proves himself a master craftsman…This lyrical new voice, unflinching in its honesty, no doubt has many more courageous tales to tell about race in America.”
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
trim size: 6x9 Hardcover