The summer before her sophomore year, her father started Seminary School. They left sunny south California, for Lubbock Texas. Where she attended Monterey High School. If one move wasn’t bad enough, her senior year… her dad took his first preaching job in Happy Texas. Happy is a small town, a very small town. The 2000 census counted 647 people. In Carolee’s graduating class there were 23 students- 16 graduated and 7 started families.
During high school, Carolee participated in UIL where she studied Poetry Interpretation. She went on to be a state alternate, and received a scholarship. Poetry plays an important role in Take Me There.
After high school she decided to go back to Lubbock and attended Texas Tech, then transferred to what is now known as West Texas A&M University. There she meet and fell in love with her husband. She did a lot of “firsts” in Texas, and that is why she chooses to use it as her setting for Take Me There. Plus, with the story content, Texas just seems like the right state to talk about death row. The Lone star State, is known for its execution rate. Does anyone know why Texas is called the Lone Star State? It’s ok, I didn’t either, it’s sad, that we had to look that up for a trivia question? Then I felt stupid because I knew the answer; it was its own Nation.
I reviewed Take Me There last week – but one thing I loved about the story were the characters. I usually get aggravated, because small town Texas characters are so stereotyped, but I didn’t get that with Carolee’s characters. The grandma is one of my favorite characters. To me, it felt like she was writing about a lady she knew, instead of making her up. I live in a small Texas town, and I could point out similar characters.
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