Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle
Release date: June 27, 2013
My rating: (3.5 stars)
Most people think the reason Dee Millings married the best looking man in the Carolinas who turned out to be a complete psycho and near-murderer is because she was raised all wrong. Dee, a 38-year-old heroine to root for, sets out on a path winding with loveable kooks, wanting to prove there is a great life on the other side of tragedy and a crazed ex behind bars who continues to mail threatening letters from prison. Her new adventure begins two years after the crime spree that nearly stopped her heart and left her flat-lining. She packs up her two young kids and settles in her parents' South Carolina hometown where she deals with a delightful, but over-the-top mama who pretends her grown daughters are virgins. Dee finds new purpose for herself and her children, discovering joy in places she never expected it: in a nursing home where she tends to the likes of 104-year-old Annie Sue who still drives and has a hankering for cold draft beer. Offering heaps of comic relief, Dee's Aunt Weepie lives to crash funerals just to get the covered-dish meals after the gravesides, no matter she has no idea who's in the coffins. Her antics lead her to making a daring decision that could change Dee's life forever. As Dee begins a journey toward recovery and becoming a registered nurse, a dark secret resurfaces, one that if handled right, could be her ticket to allowing herself to love again.
To be quite honest… I am still not sure what I think of this book. I have many conflicted feelings on this book, which is why I rated it 3.5 stars.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued. I knew it wasn’t going to be your typical romance or your typical woman scorned, trying to get her life back kind of story. I didn’t really know what to expect, to be honest.
This book has a different kind of sense of humor. Some of it, I obviously got. I chuckled in many places. There were places where I thought I maybe was supposed to laugh, but I wasn’t quite sure. I think, for me, some of the translation was lost somewhere. The quirkiness of the characters alone is a plus for this book.
The book as a whole, I am just not sure about. I think there was just too much back story and repeating of the characters’ personalities for me. There were times where the author droned on about things Dee remembered that just seemed insignificant to me. I found myself wanting to skip through some parts. Then there were other parts where I just chuckled and shook my head. I think the author wanted us to get a better feel for the unorthodoxy of the characters, but spent too much time on it throughout the story. It took away from it. I would have rather had a little more “drama” or detail of the present to keep me going.
Overall, this isn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t what I would expect considering the plot of the book. Many have seemed to like this book. I didn’t necessarily dislike the book, it just isn’t at the top of my list of must-read books. It is a light read, which is a big plus. Sometimes you just don’t want a “heavy” read. It can be refreshing to read something a little lighter than the norm.