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The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way Hardcover – March 8, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (March 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525944540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525944546
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,914,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a plodding second novel, Bruckheimer (Dreaming Southern) revisits the familiar Down South iconography of her debut as two sisters retrace a cross-country trip made decades before with their flighty mother, Lila Mae. Their destination is Blue Lick Springs, Ky., their long-forsaken hometown, and the trip's raison d'être is Lila Mae's 75th birthday. But once they get to Blue Lick, Rebecca and Carleen (joined by third sister Irene, who arrives by Greyhound bus) become embroiled in various plot lines. The novel relies heavily on local color, but clichéd scenarios and scene-setting foil the author's attempts to bring Blue Lick to life. Though Bruckheimer's prose strains for lyricism, the logjam of metaphors and similes in almost every sentence is tiresome and distracting. "The man... was a five-foot pipsqueak with lollipop-pink skin and a mouse-brown hairpiece that sat on his head like a fried egg." Dialogue aiming to recreate Southern parlance misfires ("Ya done good, girl, ya done rilllll good") and slows the narrative. What little plot the author constructs is camouflaged by shopworn sentiment: "My nerves are drawn tight as the strings of a Stradivarius. But, there is magic in the night, and I am infused with excitement, as if the wings of some exotic bird were flapping inside me." Some readers may manage to make it to the end of this poorly organized novel, but it's unlikely they'll be infused with anything but irritation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Wooten family returns (Dreaming Southern, 2000) in this tale of a small town fighting Wal-Martization. Irene Wooten was too young to remember much about Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, when her family left for California in the 1950s, but the town still exerts a powerful hold over her older sisters, Rebecca and Carleen. When Rebecca learns that a mysterious company called Castleco is buying up and razing old buildings there, she launches a land grab of her own--until her determination to reclaim the old family estate, Rosemont, brings her into a head-to-head struggle with Castleco. Meanwhile, Carleen stands up to her philandering husband, Irene moves in with her grandmother, and the whole town prepares to celebrate Lila Mae Wooten's seventy-fifth birthday. There are too many subplots, and the quirkiness of Blue Lick Springs sometimes veers uncomfortably close to parody, but this is an engaging, fast-paced novel. Bruckheimer plays many of the skirmishes between pro- and antidevelopment forces for laughs, but she is serious about the threats to the economic health and character of American small towns. Meredith Parets
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Finan on October 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm Southern and love books about Southern women, but this book left me irritated. It started well then went downhill from there. The plot jumps around so much, it's difficult to figure out where you are in timeline or with which character. I skimmed the last few chapters just so I could say I finished it. This is one of the few books I've ever read in which I didn't like ANY of the characters. It's poorly written; Ms. Bruckheimer cannot seem to make her characters and scenes come alive without use of similes. The result is a work that reads as if written by a high school sophomore. I was disappointed!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gr8ful VINE VOICE on August 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I thought the author tried too hard to be funny and it just wasn't working for me. It kind of reminded me of a slapstick movie (I know some people love that stuff but not me).

This was chosen as a book in the book club I attend. I really don't think I would have finished it otherwise.

I am not "Southern" but if I was, I would be insulted by how so many of the characters were portrayed (complete imbeciles). I can't believe that the people in Kentucky or Tenessee are that dumb.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A recent review in the The Courier Journal sparked my interest to read this book. I love the South, small towns, and family. Linda Bruckheimer brings all of this to life in her new book. The women are strong characters with a grand sense of humor -- my kind of people. When I bought the book, I thought I would start out slow with a couple of chapters a night, but found myself finishing the book at 3:00 AM in the morning. I do believe I see several of my relatives in this book!! If you are looking for a fun read, this will be your favorite novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyed this book from start to finish. I found myself laughing and crying (mostly the former). I have a family in Arkansas that keeps me laughing over the same kind of situations. If you don't 'get it', you should broaden your horizons because there really are such colorful characters in the South.
I smell a movie - I hope!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this homerun sequel, the zany Wooten clan continues to entertain you as a reader. As I eagerly read through the pages of this book, I found myself recognizing the characters as dear old friends. Ms. Bruckheimer really captures the 'quirks' of the patchwork society here in the south. This feel-good novel gives great insight to southern life and its intoxicating power. People who "ain't from 'round'ere" don't truly understand the beautiful way of life we enjoy. For any Southern Belle, this book will evoke wonderful memories from your past, and for any woman, or man for that matter, it will certainly make you desire the southern way of life. This brilliantly crafted novel helps us to search for a way to balance the old with the new, and not to forget about our heritage while embracing the future. This uplifting tale of southern life is one of the best of its kind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Being a Southerner is definitely not a requirement to appreciate the keen humor, biting wit and imaginative, descriptive verse loaded in "The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way". This is a book that has been tenderly-though not cloyingly-written about family, personal history and what really reigns important in life. The dialogue-especially from Miz Olive-is laugh out loud funny. The turn of phrase is fresh and vibrant. As in any compelling tale, the characters drive the story and keep you turning the pages to learn their fate. As Miz Olive would say, "Let's get ooon with it."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenda Presley on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read Dreaming Southern, which is Book 1 of this series, and Southern Belles. They are excellent and keep you guessing and entertained. I would highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys reading about life in the south and at the same time, wants to be thrilled with plots and funny stories, all in the same book. These books take you cross country and are full of Hollywood glamour and down home southern happenings.
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