Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: "The Southern Comforts" by Luanne Jones

“You cannot wash away the sin of having lived a generally proper life while wearing support hose and a padded bra.” 

How on earth can you resist a book that starts with a sentence like that?

Charma Deane George and the other residents and hangers-on at the Aunt Farm in Orla, Oklahoma, are the kind of women that the reader can root for and cheer for and thank God you're not related to ...or maybe you wish they were related to you if you've got troubles and would like to turn yourself over to women who know a thing or two about taking care of folks with troubles.

I'm not even going to try to summarize the plot, because it's entirely incidental.  The characters are the story, and you need to have Luanne Jones introduce them to you.  This is the kind of story that warms the heart while scaring the bejesus out of you because it's so true to life, both in its joy and its tragedy. Yankees might think the characters slide over into caricature, but people with Southern relatives know it is only a little exaggerated, maybe. (Then again, maybe not, depending on the nature of your Southern relatives.)

Don't make the mistake I did and try to read it on a plane or in other public places. Laughing out loud and crying at the same time makes people look at you funny.

But, by all means read it if you like Southern Fried Chick Lit with a whole lot of attitude.

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