If Sons, Then Heirs

After World War II, the Needham family moved north to Philadelphia from South Carolina, leaving behind the tragic injustice surrounding the violent death of their patriarch, King. His devoted widow, Selma, remains on the old home place. Over the years, she raises King’s children, including his great-grandson, Rayne, on whom falls the responsibility of bringing the family together, saving the family land, and mending the rift with his mother.

If Sons, Then Heirs is a tour de force that explores the power of family secrets, bonds, and love. Rayne and the other characters face challenges big and small that mirror the experiences of families everywhere. But in the masterful storytelling of Lorene Cary, their voices are so distinct and unique that they will live in the minds of readers long after the last page is read.

Lorene Cary

About Lorene Cary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Author)

Lorene Cary

Lorene Cary’s non-fiction includes magazine articles and blogs as well as her memoir Black Ice, and a collection of stories for young readers, Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad.  Novels include The Price of a Child, chosen as the first One Book One Philadelphia offering, Pride, and, her most recent, If Sons, Then Heirs. Cary has written scripts for videos at The President's House exhibit on Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

For 20 years Cary has taught fiction and non-fiction at UPenn; now she invites her students to publish on SafeKidsStories.com, which she created in 2015 to focus on children’s safety and wholeness.

In 1998 Cary founded Art Sanctuary to enrich urban Philadelphia with the excellence of black arts. To create an intentional transition, she stepped down as director in 2012. Cary was president of the Union Benevolent Association; and from 2011-2013 she served as a member of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission.  Honors include: UPenn’s Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching, The Philadelphia Award, and honorary doctorates from Swarthmore, Muhlenberg, Colby, and Keene State Colleges, and Arcadia and Gwynedd Mercy Universities.