Books and Reviews at Greenberry House

Like most booksellers, reading is a large part of my life here at Greenberry House. I have a special old chair, so worn that it sags, where I love to curl up with a good book. Old favorites, exciting new writers, spiritual or challenging, fiction or fact; all pass through my hands and many are worthy of comment. I plan an occasional mention here of a recent book I've read, either to recommend or to warn!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cold Sassy Tree

Cold Sassy Tree
by Olive Ann Burns
Delta Fiction, 1994

This is one of those amazing books that captures many aspects of Southern life, especially during the changing times and attitudes of the early 20th century. Young Will Tweedy, just 14 years old, begins to discover just what the people around him are really like, as he explores his budding talents as a writer and records the strange events that take place after the death of his grandmother. Small town life and the upper middle class concern for appearances are explored with sympathy and amusement by Burns, who worked as a journalist before turning to fiction later in her life. Cold Sassy Tree, Georgia, grew from a family history the author was working on, and nearby Commerce was the home of her grandfather's store and the model for the town in the novel.

I'm not sure why I had never read this book. I think I had a vague notion it was part of some sort of heavy generational series. There is nothing heavy about this novel, although like many Southern women writers Burns tackles the difficult issues of life, love and death as seen through the eyes of Will Tweedy. The narrow-minded prejudices of small town are revealed with humor and grace, and the women in Will's family tackle their adversities with their heads held high, despite the opinions of the neighbors!

Buy this book from Greenberry House!

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