With a kick like the best hot sauce, this is the laugh-out-loud story of a girl determined to keep up with her aging, crazy-as-a-fox mother.
Willow Havens is 10 years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to chase varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors - and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young, modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late 50s when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It's just her and bigger-than-life Polly.
Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly's life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, 50 years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?
The Book of Polly has a great blend of humor and sadness, pathos and hilarity. This is a bittersweet novel about the grip of love in a truly quirky family, and you'll come to know one of the most unforgettable mother-daughter duos you've ever met.
©2017 Kathy Hepinstall (P)2017 Penguin Audio
"If you ever pined for a mother who would take a hunting falcon as her wingman to a parent-teacher conference, Polly is the gal for you. Delicious." (Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama)
A sweet, funny, genteel story of two strong southern women. The Book of Polly got the formula just right; one part eccentric characters, one part deep-dark secret and one part family devotion added up to the kind of fiction that makes readers continue to read. I will miss the characters with all my heart.
The narrator could not have done a better job understanding the nuances of southern twangs and drawls without mocking or overdoing either. Bless her heart.
It took me about 2 hours to get into the story itself because until then it felt like a very well-written character study, but I kept listening because it was enough to keep me engaged. Once events started to happen, I was absorbed in it. Yes, one must suspend disbelief, but the writing is so strong—whenever I run into non-cliché, beautiful and interesting similes, metaphors, figurative language, etc., I’m happy—the characters so quirky, that it was a wonderful listen. I can always count on Lamia to deliver as the audio narrator.
Well worth the credits. Highly recommended.
At times funny and touching with a hint of mystery.
I will listen to this story again. Heartwarming, charming, haunting, funny, and sad. The book ended too soon.
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