By Michael Scott Garvin
In the mid-1960’s, 13-year-old Poppy Wainwright is shuffled from Arkansas into the care of her great-aunt Sookie in Savannah, Georgia.
While her irreverent aunt goes to battle with their bouffanted neighbors and gossips with the dandy ice cream man, Poppy throws off the mantle of misfit and revels in being herself in her new home. Toss in a cantankerous pet goat, a crumbling antebellum mansion that’s the disgrace of the neighborhood, and a mother who floats in and out of Poppy’s life, and you have a novel that is at times hilarious and heartbreaking, showing what it means to be a family and remaining true to yourself.
This was a difficult novel to summarize because A) – I can’t begin to capture the amazing voice and B) – the plot flipped itself on its head at about the 25% mark and I don’t want to throw out any spoilers if someone hasn’t read it.
And if you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend that you do. Seriously, you’re missing out. I’ll admit, I only noticed it on Kindle Unlimited because of the goat on the cover (I’m a sucker for goats), but now I’m going to have to buy a copy because I don’t want to give it back.
I’ve read many novels with vivid, flawed, and quirky characters. These folks sped past vivid and leapt straight into Technicolor. Foul-mouthed Aunt Sookie was the perfect foil for unflappable Poppy. My heart ached for both Loretta and Donita. The side characters, especially Pearl, Dixie, and Nedra, were simply delightful. The 1960’s came to life in this well-crafted setting. At times, I forgot I was reading historical fiction.
I realize this is a short-ish review but honestly, I don’t have enough words to gush over this novel and for once, absolutely nothing to pick at. Let me sum up by saying I finished it last night. This morning, I walked into work my coworker (and fellow bibliophile’s) office and blurted out, even before “Good morning,” – “You HAVE to read this book.” It’s that good.
I’d rate this novel more than five stars if I could. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.
It’s a tough world to find yourself in, but an even tougher one to be yourself in.Chris Colfer