Rita Chapman

I Know Why Mama Cried

This compelling novel follows Mims Meissen, a German Catholic girl raised in Depression-era rural Texas, as she comes to terms with her church, her father’s religious fanaticism, as well as her mother’s battle with mounting scruples and pills.

When the parish priest asks the Meissen family to take in a rebellious boy from the state reformatory, her father agrees, convinced that God has finally found a way to give him a son. But when the boy rapes Mims, her father rushes her to the priest to confess, convinced that his daughter initiated the despicable act.

In years following, Mims buries the horrid memory of the rape and her father’s ultimate betrayal. When she becomes a wife and mother, her shame and guilt ignite with a latent anger to create in her gruesome thoughts of inflicting violence on her loved ones. One night, she stands beside her baby’s crib, her rosary in one hand, and in the other, a ribbon with which she would strangle her baby. Will she succumb to the power of her anger, or will the God of her father and her church save her?
338 printed pages
Original publication



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