Signs of the South
Ella Giancetti thought certain things had ended in the South, like segregation and signs announcing ‘Whites Only’. When she moves to Paterson, Virginia, though, she quickly discovers that, though the signs might be gone, some of the attitudes remain… Accepting her first job as a college professor in a different state is supposed to be the start of a new life as Ella heals from the death of her mother. Trying to balance preparations for the new semester with incessant phone calls from her abrasive sister Lisa is difficult enough before complications appear. Someone already hates her enough to vandalize her house, and there’s a constant supply of unannounced visitors, like her enigmatic landlord, her eccentric older neighbor, a handsome police officer, and a ghost. Of the three, the ghost is the real problem. It appears in her dreams, it appears in person. It makes a mess. Ella needs to know how this young Black woman became a ghost if she ever wants to have a peaceful night in her new home. Working to find out who is threatening her and why, she can’t help wondering about the irony of seeing other people’s ghosts – but not her own mother, whom she desperately misses. As the history of the town of Paterson and the house she lives in is uncovered, Ella wonders if the past is truly the past and questions what will happen once she finds the truth about the events of 1960.