Cover image for Who do you love
Who do you love
Sayers, Valerie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1991.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Valerie Sayers is a writer, book reviewer, and educator. She was born in Beaufort, South Carolina on August 8, 1952. Sayers earned her B.A. from Fordham University in 1973 and her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1976.

Sayers has taught at New York University, Polytechnic University, and the University of Notre Dame. She is a regular book reviewer for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Sayers has written several novels based in the fictional town of Due East, South Carolina. In 1992, Sayers received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 1997, she served on the NEA Creative Writing Fellowship panel.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

November 1963, the time of President Kennedy's assassination, finds Delores Rooney pregnant with her fifth child. Well educated, Delores is involved with the civil rights movement and Democratic politics in Due East, South Carolina. She is also discontent with her marriage and occasionally strays to other men. Meanwhile, her 11-year-old daughter, Kate, is beginning her quest for the facts of life and learns some big lessons when she catches her mother in one of her dalliances. A low-key account of a young girl's innocence and security, which are shattered, not unlike that of the U.S. on that fateful November day. ~--Cynthia Ogorek

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sayers's gift for delineating family relationships against the microcosm of a small Southern town grows more assured with each novel. This third book to be set in Due East, S.C., focuses on the Irish Catholic Rooney family, outsiders in the community because of their religion, Dolores Rooney's New York origins and her outspoken championing of integration. On the unseasonably warm November day in 1963 during which most of the story takes place, Dolores ruminates over her fifth pregnancy and what it will mean to the family's already shaky finances, and Bill Rooney hopes to sell a prize piece of real estate to help his faltering business, meanwhile thinking bitter thoughts about Dolores's sanctimonious piety and intellectual superiority. Eleven-year-old Kate feels the stirrings of sexuality, and gains some insights from her teenage brothers. And a New York Times reporter whom Dolores brings home to dinner trains a spotlight on their inner lives and sets in motion an event whose implications will reverberate down the years. Then President Kennedy's assassination unites them in terrible grief. Sayers's prose has verve and humor, her view of Southern life is clear-eyed, authentic and generous. Her compassionate understanding of the strains, worries and missed communications of marriage gives this book depth and staying power. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

It is November 21, 1963. John F. Kennedy is in the White House; rumors of protest marches creep through the South; court-martial proceedings are going on at Parris Island. Citizens of Due East, South Carolina, are little aware of the drama around them, except for the Rooneys, a good Catholic family of mismatched personalities who use issues ``like fingernails on a blackboard'' to goad and grate on one another. Sayers examines two days in the lives of the Rooneys--one that threatens the very foundation of their marriage; a second that binds them together as only tragedy can. Following in the tradition of Due East ( LJ 2/15/87) and How I Got Him Back (Doubleday, 1989), Sayers's third novel is a thought-provoking story of family crisis that presages the chaos of the Sixties and analyzes the Southern response to the times with a subtle humor and pathos that can only come from having been there.-- Thomas Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.