Stockard’s grandmother is the legendary Margaret Griffin, who discovered as a child “that the Old South still saw her as ‘baseborn.’ There was nothing she could do about it, and once she realized it, she found in herself something more independent and fierce.”
Margaret Griffin rescues the family lumber business in 1920s Tennessee using the native wits that a Vassar veneer cannot suppress. She emerges as the ruthlessly capable protector of her family.
Fifty years later Stockard must sift through her grandmother’s actions as a businesswoman and a wife. It is a strange and particular obedience that allows her to reconcile the family’s past with what lies ahead.
A Particular Obedience is about three generations of powerful Southern women.