The Watermelon Baby and Other Stories
Cridland, Julie Marie
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The Watermelon Baby and Other Stories is a collection of folktales set in the fictional town of Lanham, Nebraska. The stories interweave supernatural elements with the mindsets and routines of small town Midwestern people to further an examination of the particular cultural niche that is the rural Midwest. The primary inquiries explored by the stories include the making of and adherence to moral decisions, the development of a social context for those decisions, and how the collection of moral decisions create the social context. Relationships between family members and the range of reactions they have to the making of moral decisions is the primary vehicle for exploration of this idea. Society as a governing moral body is also frequently included as a unique perspective on the behaviors of people in a town where "everyone knows everyone else".