Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Narrator: Tom Parker
Format: discs (12 hrs,55 mins); 400 pages equivalent
Characters: Mr. Blakesley, Miss Love Simpson, Will Tweety
Subject: life in small town Georgia
Setting: early 1900s, fictional Georgia Town "Cold Sassy"
Source: public library audio download
Challenge: Support your local library; audio books
This is often described as a coming of age novel, and is billed as young adult lit. It is actually a very sensitively written story set in Cold Sassy Georgia in 1906 and 1907. It is as appealing to adults as to highschoolers. The main character E. Rucker Blakesly scandalizes the town by marrying the milliner who works in his general store a scant three weeks after burying his first wife Miss Mattie Lou.
Told from the viewpoint of his grandson, Will Tweedy, we see how the young second wife Love Simpson is shunned by Blakesly's two grown daughters Looma and Mary Willis, and how young Will is taken into Love's confidence when she claims that she is only a housekeeper to his grandpa, and it is a marriage in name only.
As time passes, we see southern culture at its best and worst. The townsfolk are given ample opportunity for greatness and meanness. Grandpa opens a car dealership in addition to his general store, Will Tweedy learns to drive, and discovers he is attracted to girls. Olive Ann Burns gives us a loving picture of small town life, and leads us through an exquisite story of love, forgiveness and hope.
This is one of those fortuitous finds recommended by one of my fellow staff members at the local library. She is another audio book fan, and focuses a lot on material for our school age, and teen age readers. She knows me well enough to say "Tina, you will love this--you must download it and read it." I'm so glad I listened to her. She was right. The audio was absolutely delightful, but I'm sure it would be just as entertaining and uplifting in print.