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Cold Sassy Tree (1984)

por Olive Ann BURNS

Séries: Cold Sassy (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,142862,870 (3.92)122
Modern times come to a conservative Southern town in 1906 when the proprietor of the general store elopes with a woman half his age, and worse yet, a Yankee. The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperon, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century. Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy, Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style.… (mais)
  1. 120
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe por Fannie Flagg (citygirl)
    citygirl: Small, Southern towns of yesteryear, with a folksy feel and entertaining characters.
  2. 133
    To Kill a Mockingbird por Harper Lee (bnbookgirl)
  3. 61
    A Painted House por John Grisham (dara85)
  4. 40
    Empire Falls por Richard Russo (readerbabe1984, readerbabe1984)
  5. 10
    Unquiet Earth por Denise Giardina (readerbabe1984)
  6. 00
    The Reivers por William Faulkner (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Reivers by William Faulkner has a similar feel as Cold Sassy, with a similar leading character. But the Reivers is a bit more dark and has a more solid story.
  7. 00
    Lake Wobegon Days por Garrison Keillor (ReneeReader)
    ReneeReader: Humorous small town life with strong characters although Midwest rather than in the South.
  8. 00
    The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush por Susan Wittig Albert (ReneeReader)
    ReneeReader: While the Darling Dahlias are a mystery series, they’re well written and researched by the experienced hand of Susan Wittig Albert. They feature a set of interesting women during the war in a small Southern town. The tales and characters are often humorous although usually a bit lighter. A true flavor of Southern life in the past.… (mais)
  9. 00
    On Agate Hill por Lee Smith (ReneeReader)
    ReneeReader: While more serious than Cold Sassy Tree most of the time, On Agate Hill taps into a similar vein of Southern life in the time soon after the war. In this case it’s a girl coming of age, not a boy. On Agate Hill reads like a diary too.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 86 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book was very good. I would compare it to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. ( )
  DKnight0918 | Dec 23, 2023 |
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns is a 1984 Mariner Books publication.

Occasionally, this book will pop up on my radar and I’ve always been curious about it. It sounds like a sort of like a folksy southern family drama, which is something I tend to enjoy most of the time. The book generally continues to garner positive ratings, though I had noticed a few more recent reviews mentioned some issues with race and classism in the book.

As with any book published this far back, one is faced with the possibility- if not the probability- of encountering those issues. So, I decided that now was just as good as time as any to see what has given this book the staying power it has, especially as it is the only completed novel by this author.

I ended up with some mixed feelings about the novel. I can't say I agree that it is 'timeless', due to the aforementioned issues some recent reviews mentioned. It was a conflict, that is for sure. I felt pulled in different directions while reading the book.

I can see why many people were pulled in by the drama, and the 'folksy' charm, the coming of age elements, and the shocking revelations that come late in the story. There are some hilarious moments, some poignant moments, and it is ultimately a bittersweet, coming of age tale.

But, for me, personally, it fell flat for the most part. There are some difficult passages of abuse, animal cruelty, and even some of Will's comical shenanigans seemed a little mean spirited- then after all that, the ending wasn't exactly a happy one- but there is a suggestion of hope, so while it is sad, it also points to better times ahead for all concerned.

Overall, I have satisfied my curiosity. The story wasn't exactly what I was expecting, which can be a good thing, but maybe not so much in this instance. The story moves a bit too slow, only to have several huge developments take place all in the last quarter of the book, and the ending left me feeling a bit frustrated after having held on that long. All, that said, I've waffled about the rating. I liked parts of the book, while the rest of it was just okay....

So- 2.5 stars. It didn't have enough 'folksy charm' to round it up to a three- for me, at least.

3 somewhat reluctant stars ( )
  gpangel | Jul 18, 2023 |
Good story of a grandson who watches his grandfather marry a "skittish" younger woman (a survivor of trauma). Very memorable. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Despite all the weighty happenings and judgement this story also feels light, almost as though you were living in Cold Sassy rather than turning pages anticipating the next bit of drama. I laughed, cried and caught myself talking a bit like Grandpa a couple times;)Looking forward to the sequal. ( )
  Martialia | Sep 28, 2022 |
3.5 stars, rounded down.

Miss Mattie Lou is dead and her husband, Rucker Blakeslee, waits only three weeks before marrying the milliner who works at his store, Miss Love Simpson. The rest of the novel deals with the repercussions of this marriage, the development of the relationships between the new bride and the family, and the way this new view of his grandfather affects his grandson, Will.

I am generally fond of coming-of-age stories, and felt the story gained something from having the young Will as narrator. However, I felt his involvement in his grandfather’s intimate life highly unlikely for this time period, so some of it was a stretch for me. I know that the kind of adult conversations he was privy to, even those overheard lurking behind doors, would never have happened in my own childhood.

I felt we were meant to admire Rucker and find him entertaining, but at times I found him very distasteful in his dealings with his family members, particularly the son-in-law, Camp, who worked at his store. What was meant to be blunt and frank, often came across to me as crass and unfeeling. Sadly, I saw some of the same behavior developing in the grandson, whose pranks failed to make me smile because there was a kind of cruelty in them.

What I enjoyed about Cold Sassy Tree was the flavor of the South as it once was that was captured here and there. I recognized the small Southern town (Commerce, Georgia was much as described even when I was young), the railroad tracks that defined so many small towns in the South, and the descriptions of the Mill Town (my aunt lived in one and even though the mill had long been closed, the houses were the same small simple cubes with four rooms that opened into one another and a bathroom at the back).

The story began well, had a period of drag for me about midway, and then scuttled along to the end. I felt a bit conflicted when I finished, because while it might have been a good story, it was sort of meaningless. I couldn’t really think of any deeper meaning or anything any of these characters had learned that would have moved them forward, including Will. For me, that is one of the things that make a coming-of-age story work, that the narrator is generally wiser and more mature at the end than in the beginning...that some event has happened that has genuinely changed his understanding of life. I did not find that to be true at the end of this novel. I felt the Will we met in the first chapter was the same Will we said goodbye to on the last page.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 86 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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To Andy my beloved
To Becky and John our grown children
And to my father who was fourteen in 1906
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Three weeks after Granny Blakeslee died, Grandpa came to our house for his early morning snort of whiskey, as usual, and said to me, "Will Tweedy? Go find your mama, then run up to yore Aunt Loma's and tell her I said git on down here. I got something to say. And I ain't a -go'n say it but once't."
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Modern times come to a conservative Southern town in 1906 when the proprietor of the general store elopes with a woman half his age, and worse yet, a Yankee. The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperon, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century. Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy, Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style.

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