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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I have to say that I was not seriously searching for a book when I was browsing down at the local book store. I ran into the "out of print" discount table, and happened apon this book *Sorry Tim* I read the first few pages and laughed out loud in the middle of the store -- From that moment on I was hooked to Tim Sandlin. I finished this book in 3 days (would have finished it sooner but school and work call) and it has become my all time favorite. It wasn't until I was half way through the book did I realize that it was the middle book in the GroVont Trilogy, and I was thrilled that there were other books out there by him with the same humor (at times dark, off-color, and hilariously inappropriate) realness, and charm as this one. I went on to read the other books in the Trilogy -- Social Blunders, and the finally tracked down Skipped Parts. I highly recommened this book if you want a book that is a witty, realistic, and exciting adventure through and about life. I laughed at this book, and laughed some more, and cried some, but more than anything it made me feel -- I could relate to the characters in a way that I never thought that I could in a book. Read it. If you would like to chat about his books, e-mail me.
Katie
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
You sort of knew that the Maurey Pierce that Sam Callahan described in his first-person narrative in Skipped Parts wasn't as together and perfect as he made her out to be. In Sorrow Floats, Maurey takes up the narrative herself, and we see not only the sadness and insecurity that Sam missed, but the guilt she felt about how her life had gone and her inability and unwillingness to parent the daughter she had on her 14th birthday and eventually over her father's untimely death, while riding her own beloved show horse.

This has led Maurey to pursue a marriage with Dothan Talbot, her high school boyfriend, that she knew would be disastrous, and to drink. The real love of her life, she thinks, is Yukon Jack, and she nearly kills her infant son Auburn (all Talbots are named for Alabama towns) and loses her marriage, self-respect and her standing in her hometown of Gro Vont, Wyoming.

To begin her redemption, she begins a picaresque journey with two unlikely characters, Lloyd, pursuing a lost wife who is never found, and Shane, wheelchair-bound but hardly wheelchair-ridden, and given to apparent exaggeration of his personal exploits, which included bedding Katharine Hepburn in unusual circumstances and dating Priscilla Beaulieu before Elvis, to whom he introduced her. Both are recovering alcoholics who never miss a meeting, but the mission of their trip, besides finding Lloyd's wife and saving Shane's sister, is to sell Coors beer east of Arkansas for a large profit. Maurey can provide money and a horse trailer to drag behind the hearse named Moby Dick, and on they go, headed to Shane's grandmother in North Carolina, which is also where Sam now lives with Shannon.

So much just seems to happen along the way, as they pick up, in turn, Shane's sister Marcella and her two children, with her estranged husband hanging behind like Inspector Fix, a young hippie girl named Critter who is returning to her lover named Freedom, perhaps the most oxymoronic nickname in all literature, and Freedom's son Owley, who has never trusted anyone in his life until he meets Maurey.

But all the while Lloyd and Shane are leaving Maurey to her own devices, as she gives names like Jesus and Elvis to her bottles of liquor, while subtlely and persistently letting her know what they think she needs to do to fix her life. When disaster happens in the shape of a man who first saves them from corrupt police in Tennessee and then turns on Maurey savagely, Shane, wheelchair and all, is the one to save her hide, and then, in a beautifully written segment at his Grandma's farm, her soul.

This is not a Christian book, a religious book or a tract in favor of Alcoholics Anonymous. Quite the contrary. But it is very much a book about how an individual might need a whole lot of friends to support her getting her act together. Sandlin does this in the context of his usual humor and sharply written characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Its a real testament to Tim Sandlin that he can return to the territory of the wonderful Skipped Parts and write a sequal that lives up to its predecessor. Its even more remarkable that he can pick up the story 10 years later and from the point of view of Maurey Pierce, Sam Callahan's junior high love interest from Skipped Parts and still make it ring true.

This is a different type of book than Skipped Parts. Its considerably darker, due in no small part to Maurey's struggle with severe alcoholism. The characters in this installment, although no less colorful or multidimensional than those in the first book are leading more painful and more desperate lives. Although it has its funny moments, Sorrow Floats is not a comedy.

Yet it is ultimately uplifting, although not alwasy in the way you'd expect. Like most road stories, Maurey's journey is as much metaphorical as literal and along the way Sandlin really allows you to feel her anger, pain, confusion and tenderness. Of the three books in the GroVont trilogy, this is the most difficult and definitely the least fun, but in many ways its the most rewarding. Hats off to Sandlin.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2000
Maurey Pierce-Talbot is a lost soul never to be found without her gun in her pocket and a bottle of whiskey in her hand. When Maurey leaves her baby on the hood of her Bronco during one of her many drunk spells, she realizes that what she has done is beyond redemption and decides to hit the road. Off she heads across the country in a big white ambulance with two recovering alcoholics and a band of assorted vagabonds picked up along the way.
The story is compelling and even touching at times, but ultimately, Maurey's selfishness and insecurity is a little irksome. Sandlin does a fine job of explaining some of the reasons for her behavior, and her little idiosyncrasies can be charming (i.e. she writes postcards to her dead father because of a joke he once made that when he died, he was going to San Francisco). However, most of her personality traits are more obnoxious than anything else. For example, her habit of naming her bottles of whiskey as though they were lovers is a tad overboard.
There are strokes of genius abound, however...for instance, Maurey's partners on the run are wonderful characters; primarily Shane, the obese, wheelchair-bound compulsive liar. His epic lies and grandiose behavior call to mind Ignatius J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces in a most entertaining way.
In all, I give this book 4 stars, because it was a great read and because Sandlin has such a way with words. Maurey as a character is a little despicable, but he does a good job of redeeming her in the end and making her a bit more bearable.
To be quite frank, the tale of Maurey is my least favorite in the Grovont trilogy, but this is still a gem of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Being based in the Rockies I run across a fair number of books that fall into a category you could call "cowgirl noir". Sure, you have your hard bitten East Coast medical examiners and your hard bitten West Coast P.I.'s, and the occasional tough as nails fallen southern belle, but I'm still partial to the sadder but wiser cowgirl. Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona have each given birth to such characters, and here we get one from Wyoming; 23 year old Maurey Pierce Talbot is a welcome addition indeed.

These cowgirl heroines have a lot in common. Usually they are partial to drink and have a few alcohol fueled missteps in their pasts. Some have a busted marriage; most have at least a failed relationship or three. There can be a kid in the mix, but usually not. Lots of times they're between jobs, often because of one too many DUI's. Waitressing and bartending show up a lot on their resumes.

They are marked by a tough exterior, hearts of varying degrees of softness, a wicked sense of humor, a certain rueful pessimism about their immediate prospects, and yet a certain gimlet eyed hope for a happier future. They are in charge of their own sexuality. They don't suffer fools, and pretty much everybody seems to be a fool. There is usually one person they can trust and in whom they can confide. They do not have good relationships with their mothers or their ex mothers-in-law. They are often reckless and almost always armed.

I mention all of this because that describes the narrator of this book pretty well. She's hit the bottom of the bottle since her Daddy died, and it's going to take a cross-country beer-hauling road trip with two colorful ex-drunks to get her on the right path. Maurey is an appealing character; her voice is strong and clear even if her path forward isn't. While there are plenty of catastrophes along the road the author treats his characters with a generous and forgiving spirit that keeps the drama inside the lines and balances sorrow with tenderness. A good find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
This is the second novel of the GroVont Trilogy. If you haven't read the first novel, Skipped Parts, I would highly recommend doing that first. I actually got it for free on Kindle a while back, but I'm sure that deal is over. In any case, it definitely got me spending money on the next few books!

This book is told from the viewpoint of Maurey from the first book, almost 10 years later. It's such a good read and I'm not sure how he does it, but Sandlin nails the alcoholic on the brink of bottom near flawlessly. I laughed at Maurey's thoughts throughout the book relating to her very much, as I was at a similar point in life when I was her age. =)

I especially love the way he captures the characters' personalities. My favorite was Lloyd, for sure.

A good read for anyone, a fantastic read for the recovering alcoholic. You'll laugh a lot! (If you're not an alcoholic, you'll gasp over and over and wonder how in the hell someone in a review could ever say they laughed a lot at Maurey!)

Now I'm off to buy the third of the trilogy on my Kindle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2007
Having loved "Skipped Parts", I couldn't wait to read "Sorrow Floats". While I enjoyed the sequel, I don't think it's as good as I expected it to be. Possibly my expectations were just too high. But I don't think Sandlin's creation of Maurey's inner voice is nearly as good as that of Sam Callahan. It is always difficult for a man to write from a woman's point of view, and vice versa. Something about Maurey just didn't ring true to me. I know that's a vague complaint and I wish I could explain it more precisely. Regardless, it is a fun and easy read, and I will move onto the 3rd book in the trilogy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2005
Not as sly or witty as the first book, "Skipped Parts," but still entertaining, provocative, and humorous. This book follows Maurey, after she has Sam's baby, marries her horrid high school sweetheart, and loses custody of her second baby after leaving him on top of the Bronco as she drives off in a drunken stupor. It follows her journey to find her soul and sobriety. I remember vaguely seeing the movie, "Floating Away," which is based on this book. The book is MUCH better. The three books in this series do not need to be read in order; each book can be read independently without losing the plot.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2001
I was hesitant to read Sorrow Floats when I found out it begins with Maurey leaving her baby on the roof--how much more depressing can you get? In true Sandlin fashion it turns tragedy into comedy, and Maurey's character development is just fantastic. As a 22-year-old woman myself, I can attest that Sandlin manages to write from the perspective of a 22-year-old woman with astounding accuracy. Maurey is a good example of someone who screws up her life and then somehow manages to learn that she is worth saving. I went through that too, and so did you I bet. Read this book if you are curious about what happened in the spring of 1973 in a very memorable young woman's head.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 1999
Sorrow Floats is an entertaining and thoughtful post-modern tale that combines hilarity with despair. After meeting Maurey in Skipped Parts it was a joyful surprise to follow her along her journey across America. Sandlin's characters are realistic and intensely profound. Tim Sandlin is the J.D. Salinger of the 90's and hopefully beyond.
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