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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Southern Fried Women by Pamela King Cable

Hello, hello!

Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers….the place to be when you’re hungry for a good read. Speaking of hungry, you know what I JUST realized last night? Thanksgiving Day is THIS Thursday. Yep. THIS Thursday. O-O Can someone please tell me where the month of November, let alone 2011 went exactly because I don’t know about you, but it left me without a forwarding address. Seriously! It’s really flown by… *shakes head*. Anywho…back on track here…

Today’s featured title sounds like a cross between a cookbook and a cannibalistic memoir, title wise…but content wise? It’s all down home Southern goodness. The stories vary as does the content, so get ready because you’re in for a mixed and bumpy ride. Today’s book of choice is….


See what I mean about the title? Now when I first read that, I simply thought…okay, what does that mean exactly? The author was kind enough to include a definition of sorts in the opening pages and after reading it, I determined something….though I’ve lived in the South the better part of my life, by the definition given, I am NOT a “southern fried woman”. My family may not agree with my dreams, but they’d never laugh at them, unless truly funny; you know, like a car filled with clowns being chased by a giant rooster….or something. If they did laugh about them, then yeah….I’d be “boiling over” all night, who wouldn’t? There are however aspects of these diverse women that I CAN relate to…as I’m certain you might as well. To quote from the book….

She’s any woman brave enough to start over again, darlin’, never gives up her dream, wherever she decides home is.

Well said….which leads me right to the content of the book. Each story features a cast of strong southern women facing the trials of life the best way they know how….head on. They don’t shy away from their circumstances no matter how rough and they’re not afraid to get down and dirty if need be. There’s also a dusting of the religious high road that many in the self proclaimed “Bible belt” take to heart but it’s purely meant to show that by the grace of the powers that be, all things can be overcome. Take “Vernal Paskins, Mobile Home Queen”…our leading lady is having a hard time on life what with having to raise her daughter’s child and a severe lack of funds, but a chance (or fated?) meeting with a traveling preachers wife leads to unexpected fortune both monetarily and spiritually.

In “Beach Babies”, there’s the harder edge of the life exposing the evils that men (and women) will do when they turn their eyes from the path of grace and seek solely to line their pockets for their own selves and not their fellow man. The leading ladies in this story however rise above their given lot and end up living a life most unexpected and fulfilling. “Cry” offers an interesting crossroads at which two characters meet and discover a shared past with a surprising future all thanks to a chance meeting on a dark and lonely strength of road on a balmy southern night. The shortest story in this collection also happens to be my favorite amongst the lot….entitled “No Time For Laura”. It literally brought tears to my eyes in its for page span while conveying the strong message of taking time to enjoy the smallest moments of happiness in life because you never truly know when they won’t be there any longer.

Now, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for me, despite all I’ve just relayed. There were two stories in fact that no matter how I tried, I just could not get into for the life of me, but you know that’s the beauty of short story collections. There are times when you fall in love with the whole lot and times where the love is few and far between. I’d say the odds presented here, two out of nine, are pretty good as a whole making this a collection I happily count among the “read”.

In short, a book of short stories that gives readers a view on life with a Southern twang. They’re not “nice” in the conventional sense of the word but they are real and emotionally charged. Recommended reading for older teens through adults. There are a few instances of language to be considered as well as controversial topics such as molestation (though not in a condoning sense at all) and child prostitution (again, not condoning and the girls make their break to freedom with fireworks of their own)….in short, not for the kiddos but not dark enough to be put in the adults only section. There is a purpose to the stories shared. They are meant to show (in my mind at least) that behind the charm and sun drenched smiles, there is a fountain of strength and resilience native to Southern women. All one needs to do to release it is step on the wrong toes, cross the wrong daughter, or play high and mighty in a group of ones own peers. Rest assured, a true Southern fried woman will gladly call you out and bring you back to your roots….leaving you with a smile and a story to tell.

Review copy courtesy of Julie at Satya House Publications. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to visit their official website. This book is on sale now so it should be readily available at a bookstore near you…and dare I suggest, it may even make a great gift addition to your holiday shopping list for a any “southern fried” women you may be acquainted with. ^_^

Until next time…happy reading!


LoriStrongin said...

I grew up a Yankee (NY and NJ) and now live here in the south, surrounded by people who say "Bless her heart" when they really mean "What the hell." It's like speaking a whole different language, but it's one I think I might be starting to understand.

So yup, definitely think I'm going to have to check this one out and continue my education in Southern-isms. :)


GMR said...

LoriStrongin: Another transplanted Yankee girl... *high five* ^_^ I definitely know what you mean on the language, LOL. It does take getting use to...heck, I'm still getting use to some of it! If you check out this collection, I'd love to hear what you think. Happy reading!

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