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Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar Paperback – June 23, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is basic: a very young grandmother (46) who hasn't a motherly bone in her body is called upon to care for her grandchildren while her daughter is overseas. The grandchildren are quick to size her up as Abuela Mala (bad grandmother). Red runs a honky-tonk, and lives in a cramped apartment over the bar. Her stud muffin, Cam, who is only slightly older than her daughter, comes to the rescue: he'll swap his house for her flat so the children can live in comfort and have access to good schooling.
The quirks and coils of the characters flesh out the plot. You know the kids will be won over, that the young boyfriend will prevail over his aging girlfriend, and that there will be resolutions to most of the problems that arise. Where Morsi excels is in making sure that there aren't any perfect solutions, and no guarantees of a happily-ever-after. Instead, you see how the people learn to accept the happy-right-now and live with the uncertain future.
The only flaw in this book is that I never quite "got" just what Cam sees in Red. Until close to the end of the story, she isn't warm, is often insulting, doesn't open up, and basically doesn't seem to offer much to the relationship. Cam always has to make the first move, endure the insults, and keep coming back for more. I found that extremely annoying.
Otherwise, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and the characters stay with you long after the last page is turned.
I loved this story! The characters were written with so much depth that I found myself thinking about them long after I had finished the book. While Red and Cam's relationship is central to the story this book touches on many issues - relationships between parents and children; how people can be defined by "class" and upbringing; the illusion of control that so many of us cling to. Very well done; I would highly recommend this book. One slight caution: While it is obvious that Red and Cam enjoy an enthusiastic sex life it is primarily conducted off page. Some readers might be disappointed by that.
Red gets a call from the Family Assistance Center to pick up her kids. They'd been staying with their paternal grandmother who had been carrying for Olivia (age 9) and Daniel (age 6) while their mother was in Afghanistan was in the hospital. Their father was unwilling to take them, so Red was it. Problem was, she lived above a bar, worked until the wee hours of the morning, and there was Cam, her live-in boy toy.
The set up of this story drew me in, but my interest soon faded with the relationship between Red and Cam. He was too perfect, too unbelievable. There were parts of the story I did love such as Daniel who used Spanish like a code to talk with his sister and Cam. I loved Red, her background and the fact she was willing to change. Unfortunately, these parts weren't enough to mask the parts I didn't love.
Author Pamela Morsi drew me into Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar with those words; I just had to know more about Red...and the more I learned, the more I liked her. Red had a rather hard childhood and bad luck with men. Due to family circumstances, life forced her to raise her daughter alone. She doesn't think she was a very good mother, but she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and is proud that she owns her own business. She enjoys her lifestyle and rowdy customers. Due to so many men coming and going in her life, she doesn't trust men and is reluctant to form a serious relationship. Thus she never lets any of them get to know her, ultimately chasing them away.
Her current lover, a musician named Cam, is younger than she is, so she thinks he's around just for the fun and should he decide to leave she could care less...or so she tells herself.
All in all, Red doesn't want anything to change in her life, but she would like a closer relationship with her daughter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a MUST read........love the author's style. Read everything I can get my hands on by this authorPublished 18 months ago by Lindie
I've tried to read Paula Morsi's books from when she first started publishing to present. I enjoy her character description and cultural highlights.Published 18 months ago by Momom
This novel is a joy to read. It is funny, realistic, and full of surprises. I enjoyed every minute of it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kindle Customer
It is an okay book to pass some time but if you only have time for one book then you probably dont want to waste it on this one.Published on April 4, 2014 by Jan John
Pamela Morsi has written characters that move into you heart and stay there. She takes you on unexpected turns as Red has to grow up and become a grandmother. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Jolene
Loved the book, great story line, makes me want to follow these their lives after this book. Didn't want to put the book down.Published on October 2, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Red is a hard-bitten forty-something who has carved out an unconventional life she is very content with. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by Sarah J Faulkner
I really enjoyed this book. It was so descriptive that I could actually visualize myself being there. Read morePublished on July 27, 2013 by Amazon Customer