Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Publisher Format: Recorded Books, 10 hrs
Narrator: Cynthia Darlow
Year of publication: 2005
Subject: southern manners, marriage, beauty pageants
Setting: Abbotsville, NC
Series: Miss Julia
Genre: southern fiction, humor
Source: Net Library download
Well, Miss Julia has gone and done it this time! She and her long-time friend, mentor/attorney Sam Murdoch have eloped to a marriage mill in Tennessee and honeymooned at Dollywood. Shortly after their return to town, but after they'd already hired carpenters who had demolished half Miss J's house to fit it out so everyone (Julia and Sam, Hazel Mae and little Lloyd) could live under one roof, they discover that the "reverend" who officiated at the nuptials may not in fact have been a rev at all, and their marriage may not be legal.
Naturally Miss Julia's southern sense of properness and morality is totally in chaos; she banishes Sam to a separate bedroom, refuses to go through with another ceremony (that would announce to the world that they'd been living in sin!!!!) and sends Sam off to "fix it." At the same time, Hazel Marie decides to hostess a beauty pageant, Julia's best friend wants to throw her a wedding reception, and poor Miss Julia just can't seem to handle it. As usual, Ann B. Ross does a wonderful job of keeping us guessing about the outcome of all these challenges and manages to give us some tension, some concern, and plenty of humor as the various characters work through life.
These are fun stories. Miss Julia has just the right amount of ditziness and brains to make them believable and Hazel Mae adds the perfect foil of fun loving devil-may-care to counter Miss Julia's prissiness. Think Golden Girls with Betty White as Miss Julia and a young Rue McClanahan as Hazel Mae. I'm not sure I could take these as a steady diet, but they are certainly well done - - especially in audio.
Recorded books has done a wonderful job with the various accents in these and I have no trouble following who is speaking or narrating with the excellent narration of Cynthia Darrow. Her ability to present different voices is exceptional and well suited to this story.