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Date Posted: 16:58:00 11/19/04 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch

Here's the latest, sent in by Page. Thanks, lass! Another good one!

TITLE: Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch

AUTHOR: Haywood Smith

GENRE: Fiction

Linwood Breedlove Scott may have dropped out of college to marry her high-school sweetheart, but she does have a degree - a PhD in Southern Bitch. Since I, too, possess this degree as did my mother before me and her mother before her, I loved every word of Haywood Smith's Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, the most true-to-life book about Southerners I've ever read.

Lin is still reeling from the nasty break-up of her thirty year marriage. Not only did her husband spend all the money they had, put them $200,000 in debt and neglect to file income tax returns for three years, she also discovers he's engaged to a 23-year-old stripper he met in the "champagne rooms" of pricey strip clubs...the same place all their money went. Lin is forced to move to Mimosa Branch, Georgia, her childhood home, and back under the watchful eyes of The General, her father, and Miss Mamie, her mother.

Also living in the old house are her alcoholic, divorced brother, Tommy, and their Aunt Glory and Uncle Bedford. In fact, the first thing Lin sees as she arrives at the house is Uncle Bedford on the porch, wearing a Depends and holding a TV tray piled with men's shoes. Seems Aunt Glory is rather lax about giving him his medications to help with his advanced Alzheimers.

Lin ends up with the same job she held at the age of 16 and somehow finds herself embroiled in town politics as she joins a committee to oust the corrupt mayor and his bunch of cronies. She also spends time trying to analyze what kind of relationship, if any, she has with her handsome next-door neighbor. Plus, she has to get used to being called, "Little Lin Breedlove" by most of the town.

Lin is one of the funniest characters in any book I've ever read. She's so true-to-life that it was hard for me to remember that she's just a character in a book and not a real woman. One part that reminded me so much of someone I know is when Lin and her partner are leading up to intimacy and she realizes she's worn knee-high stockings. Forget worrying about how her kisses are; she's worrying about whether or not the knee-highs will leave red indentations in her calves! On another occasion, she wonders if she's making "snorking noises" in her sinuses when she French kisses!

As Lin's "brief stay" in Mimosa Branch continues, she comes to realize that she can never regain her independence, because she never had any to lose in the first place. Along with gaining new -found independence she also gains understanding, of her parents, her brother, her Aunt Glory and her Southern roots.

Haywood Smith is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, so she knows just exactly how real Southerners talk, act, and think and she brilliantly brings these character traits to life.

Visit Mimosa Branch, Georgia, and meet real Southern people. You'll never forget them!

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[> This looks really fun and interesting, thanks Page. -- Margy, 04:01:07 11/20/04 Sat

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[> I will definitely have to read Mimosa Branch. I heard of it before and thought it was one of those cooking books! This story looks really good. -- beccabee, 06:58:40 11/20/04 Sat

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[> I read this a year or two ago. It's funny - and touching - and very well written. Excellent review, Page! Thanks. -- GinC, 12:55:22 11/22/04 Mon

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[> I recently moved in with my very aged parents to be their primary caregiver. After reading this synopsis, I will not complain! My family are Southerners, so I'd probably find this one funny! (The part about the conveniently eligible and available next door neighbor sounds just a little too pat....) -- Lemora, 21:33:56 11/23/04 Tue

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[> [> Give it a try, Lemora (I don't want to give away any spoilers - but the next-door neighbor part is not as pat as it sounds - don't let it turn you off *g*) -- GinC, 13:42:31 11/26/04 Fri

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