A few years after my book club, I finally finished Cold Sassy Tree. I liked it; the characters were very well developed and the author foreshadowed events brilliantly. She always kept you guessing and turning the page. Considering the author’s battle against cancer while she was writing this book, I appreciated the ending when the Grandpa is talking to his wife about his view on God and answering prayers. I knew that they most likely reflected her own hard-earned views, and I appreciated getting that little window into her personal thoughts.
My only criticism of the book, and it’s a small one, is that the book does not do anything for the reputation of a small, Southern town. Every stereotype possible is thrown in, and I cannot figure out if it would be good to live in a small town or ifI should be grateful for my relative anonymity.
Review from Amazon.com:
Cold Sassy Tree, a novel full of warm humor and honesty, is told by Willy Tweedy, a fourteen-year-old boy living in a small, turn-of-the-century Georgia town. Will’s hero is his Grandpa Rucker, who runs the town’s general store, carrying all the power and privilege thereof. When Grandpa Rucker suddenly marries his store’s young milliner barely three weeks after his wife’s death, the town is set on its ear. Will Tweedy matures as he watches his family’s reaction and adjustment to the news. He is trapped in the awkward phase of rising to adult expectations – driving the first cars in town – while still orchestrating wild pranks and starting scandalous gossip through his childish bragging. He seeks the wisdom of his grandpa and has his eyes opened to southern “ways” under the tutelage of Grandpa’s new Yankee wife, Miss Love. Still, Will “couldn’t figure out…why in the heck she would marry the old man.” But Miss Love’s influence seems to be transforming Grandpa into a younger man, and the answer unfolds slowly and sweetly as Will Tweedy becomes the confidante and staunch defender of this unlikely couple. The lessons of life and death, of piousness and irreverence, form the basis of memorable characters and a story that is both difficult to put down and hard to leave.