Long-held secrets and an estranged family are always good starting points for a story, and Mason presents a family in transition whom all can identify with. Throw in a hidden fortune and a good dose of humor, and readers will laugh through their tears.
When Ana Mae Futrell passes away, her siblings return to their small North Carolina town to say their goodbyes to the elder sister whom none of them really knew. What they learn is life-changing. Ana Mae may have been a domestic worker, but she parlayed a winning scratch-off lottery ticket into a not-so-small fortune. When the terms of her will are read, her two sisters and brother (and her pastor, “Too Sweet,” and best friend, Rosalee) are sent on a quest to interpret a quilt she constructed that reintroduces them to Ana Mae. The family and their various partners ultimately reconnect and move forward — just what Ana Mae wanted most. (DAFINA, Feb., 336 pp., $15.00)