Author: Laura Lane McNeal
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publish Date: July 3, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "When Ibby Bell’s father
dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously
deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her
father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no
place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the
local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s
black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it
upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its
grand traditions and its darkest secrets.
For Fannie’s own
family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms
in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to
unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s
hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the
least expected places."
My Two Cents:
Ibby isn't sure what to
expect when her mother takes her to New Orleans to stay with her
eccentric grandmother, Fannie (who is white), and her grandmother's
cook, Queenie (who is black), and Queenie's daughter, Dollbaby. It's the
1960s and Ibby has a lot to learn. This is a good coming of age story
with fantastic historical detail that I really enjoyed!
the highlights of the book for me was really the characters. Ibby
doesn't know much when she is unceremoniously deposited at her
grandmother's house. She is young and ignorant of the way that the world
works in a lot of way. I also loved Fannie, Queenie, and Dollbaby. They
were really good characters and I loved the way that McNeal was able to
bring them to life. I loved the way that their conversations were
written. I thought that was really key in making them feel realistic.
Even though it is really Ibby that is doing the most growing in the
book, we do see each person change in their own way.
I loved the
historical element of the book. 1960s New Orleans seems like a really
fascinating time period to have lived in. Things were starting to change
but rascism still played a prevalent role in society. This book
explores some of that, which was fascinating to me. It is especially
fascinating with regard to the characters in the book! You can see the
city clearly through the author's descriptions!
Overall, this was a good pick!