About the Book: Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship. For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.
Three friends, Celia, Renny and Ava meet up after over 10 years of not seeing each other. Rennie called Celia and said that Ava needed her, so she hopped on a plane from Southern California to Memphis. For three days, they are going to reminisce and talk over their decisions and problems at Rennie’s lake house. Secrets are shared, alcohol is consumed and their past is reevaluated. A story of true friendship, accepting responsibility for your actions and decisions, racism, small-mindedness, and acceptance.
This story is told in a dual timeline, 1980 in Mississippi and the present. Through Celia’s flashbacks we learn about life in 1980s Mississippi. It dealt with racism and narrow mindedness. Because of that, tragedy strikes Celia’s family that changes the direction of the lives of everyone in her family. Celia and her brother Haywood were beyond the times with their thinking of acceptance of Little Tea and her family, but others were not in the same place. I loved Claire Fullerton’s descriptive writing. I could feel and see the woods, the lakes and the old marshes she described. The heat, the bugs, the drinks, and the music were all so well described that the atmosphere was as much a character as the three women were. I am not going to tell you anymore about this story because I believe you have to experience it yourself. I read it in one day, wanting to find out what happened in the past to bring the characters to where they were in the present. This would make a great book club read, there is a lot to discuss and there are some great questions included at the back to start those discussions.
About the Author: Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.
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