By Daneet Steffens
Updated October 31, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

In a synergy reversal, Julie Dash’s debut novel expands on her 1991 film, Daughters of the Dust. An elaboration on — as well as a sequel to — the film’s captivating story of a multigenerational African-American family, the book explores the rich but little-known Gullah culture of the South Carolina Sea Islands. Set in 1926, Daughters follows city-bred Amelia Varnes to the Islands as she studies the extended-family community her mother originally came from. A sprinkling of home remedies — ”Faith” balm, Love Powder Potion, and Home Sweetener — adds flavor to an already heady tale of family and heritage. A

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