Richmonder Margaret Edds' Finding Sara (Butler Books) is largely possible because her mother was not, Edds notes, "living in an age of e-mail and text messaging."
Sara, her mother, died when the writer was 3, leaving a substantial void in her development and a hole of grief she filled with other emotions. She learned far later than women of her generation "how to scramble an egg, how to use a tampon, that doing laundry meant more than separating colors and whites."
During the past decades, however, Edds, an author and accomplished journalist, came into possession of letters and a 33-page account of her mother's life written when Sara was in college, around 1933, what Edds calls "a personal Rosetta stone."
Finding Sara is an epistolary biography, woven from letters, documents and family photographs. This is not just a personal journey but also a glimpse into a Southern woman's life during the Depression and World War II.
On Feb. 5 at 7 p.m., Edds speaks at the downtown Richmond Public Library for its Friends of the Library series, and on March 17, she'll do the same at the opening ceremony for the Virginia Festival of the Book at the Central Library of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Va.