Cavedweller Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Cavedweller

Delia is determined to make a life change when her daughter's father Randall dies in a motorcycle accident. Delia is left alone after she loses the love of her life and falls into a deep depression. She left the life she'd known in Cayro, Georgia and her two young daughters behind to follow a rock and roll singer. Her regret is long and ten years after having his baby, the rough life of being with a cheating music man has taken a toll on her body.
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Ten year-old Cissy is tired of her mother's tales of sisters she's never met. She likes California and has been at odds with her mother for moving out of her father's house and becoming a total drunk. Cissy barely notices that Delia has been sober for four months. She remembers too well the times Delia has fallen out drunk a total embarrassment. No one asks her what she wants. Ever. It seem insane that her mother would drag her across the country to a backwards town where they she doesn't know anyone. For all she knows these sisters her mother is always talking about Amanda, and Dee Dee are a figment of her mother's sick imagination.
They drive straight through from Venice, California to Cayro. Cissy hears the cook in Cayro tell Delia that she knows who she is. She called her a “bitch” and cussed her Delia for running off and leaving her children to follow some rock and roll man.

When they get to Delia's granddaddy's house he holds Delia as she cries and quickly reminds her that she left a husband and two little girls. He urges her to find Clint and talk to him if she plans on seeing the girls she left behind.

The restaurant cook was right and wrong. M.T., Delia's childhood friend welcomed Delia and Cissy into her home. Delia takes over the lease of a Bonner a popular beauty salon in Cayro when the owner has a stroke.

When Clint falls ill and knows he is going to die he asks Delia to move in with him and keep house. In return he promises that he will make sure she gets her daughters back. His mother has been raising them while he was drinking his life away, but he has legal custody.

None of the girls are happy. Cissy doesn't want anything to do with them and they are both angry and full of hate at for Clint and have nothing to say to Delia.

Rosemary comes to help Delia from Los Angeles. She and Delia had written songs together for the band. While Rosemary received credit, Delia didn't see a dime. Randall “took” care of her with his image and charging material things to the record label. The women share a close bond and the town doesn't know what to make of sassy independent, black Rosemary. She shares stories of life that the girls can relate to. Amanda is religious nut following in the tracks of the grandmother who raised her while Delia was gone.

Amanda marries a preacher and continues to look down at everyone not living a good Christian life. Cissy's best friend Nolan looks after his mother and runs The Biscuit restaurant which he takes over after his father dies. He has always had a crush on Dede who doesn't give him the time of day. Cissy learns about caving from a friend and on her fifteenth birthday and falls in love with being underground where she can tune out the craziness of her world.

Clint dies and takes with him the memories of Cissy sitting with him in his darkest hours when his birth daughters won't. Delia not only moved in with the girls she bathed a man who had beaten her when they were married and kept her children from her when she left to save her life.
Returning to Cayro and working on rebuilding a relationship with her girls pays off in ways Delia could not have imagined. Family, friendship, love and forgiveness were all part of the big plan of healing.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked the story because Delia overcame so much.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was near the end when Delia and her girls shared a loving relationship.

Opinion about the main character: I liked that Delia found the strength to pull it together for her children.

The review of this Book prepared by C. Imani Williams a Level 13 Blue-Winged Teal scholar

Chapter Analysis of Cavedweller

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   custody battle

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   musician Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   Boob talk!    -   Vagia talk! Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Dorothy Allison Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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