~The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck~ “Once you tell a lie, you have to keep tellin’ and tellin’ and tellin’ to make it stand.”
I passed this one by more than once, but as it gained popularity my curiosity was peaked. This book proves the old saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Ora Lee Beckworth hires the Pecan Man, pronounced Pee-can, a homeless black man, do do yard work for her. When a young man turns up stabbed to death, the murder is pinned on the Pecan Man, but Ora Lee knows the truth. The year is 1976 and the voice is authentic. I felt like I was listening to an actual person telling me about real life events. Ora Lee is finally coming clean and telling what she knows about the murder, who really committed the act, and the horrific events that led up to it.
I made the mistake of starting to listen to this book late one evening thinking it would put me to sleep. Instead it kept me up! I listened to the audio version read by Suzanne Toren, who performed the book wonderfully.
Click here for Book Club Questions for The Pecan Man.
~A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg~
Fifty-two-year-old Oswald T. Campbell gets the bad news that he is dying and he won’t be long for this world if he doesn’t get himself to warmer climes immediately. Through a series of events, he finds himself moving to the small town of Lost River, Alabama which is chock full of friendly, if eccentric, people.
A local shop keeper, Roy, keeps a bird in his store, and has done so since he rescued it as a small wounded fledgling. Patsy, a little crippled girl, takes to hanging around the store and the redbird, named Jack, becomes her best friend.
No one tells a story like Fannie Flagg. It doesn’t matter how many characters her stories have, she writes them so well I never get them mixed up. Her characters seem to come to life on the page, and I always find them interesting and funny. I love to listen to her read her own books because she know exactly how to tell the story. I wish she would publish more books. I am charmed by her writing style. This novel is a feel good, humorous, happily ever after story. A sweet southern Christmas read.
~First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen~
“No matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you. You can’t stop them from making the wrong decision. There was no magic for that.”
“It had taken her a long time to realize that a prison sometimes isn’t a person at all. Sometimes it’s simply a door you assume is locked because you’ve never tried to open it.”
“The right men make all the difference in the world. But the wrong men do, too.”
“Maybe you don’t have to be lead into the future. Maybe you can pick your own path. Maybe you don’t fall in love. Maybe you jump. Maybe, just maybe, it’s all a choice.”
First Frost is a delightful read. As with all of Sarah Addison Allen’s books, this story is infused with a bit of magic. This novel is a sequel to Garden Spells, but can be read as a stand-alone.
Each of the Waverley women has a unique talent. Sydney can do magic with your hair, giving her clients a “do” that does much more than empower them. While a good haircut can work wonders, Sydney’s are extra special. Claire has a special talent for cooking. Her candies are becoming famous, the special ingredients promoting happiness and well-being. Bay, Sydney’s daughter, has the gift of knowing where things belong. For instance, she knows that a certain boy belongs with her, but he is not receptive to that idea.
All of the Waverley women get agitated and tense while waiting for the first frost, the only time the apple tree in the backyard blooms. The anticipation of the season’s changing stirs them up.
This book is satisfying and sweet. Sarah Addison Allen’s storytelling is beautiful and unique.
I especially enjoyed the idea of an over protective apple tree that throws fruit at the suitors and husbands of the Waverley women.
Sarah Addison Allen’s stories are unusual, having that special something, and so easy to fall into. Her novels have never failed to capture my interest.