Little Tea by Claire Fullerton
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Publication Date: PB - April 28, 2020 / eBook - May 1, 2020
Format: Paperback - 252 pages
Kindle - 5271 KB / 254 pages
ISBN: 978-1645262596ASIN: B0817J667Y
Genre: Southern Fiction
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.
Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.
For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if her friendship with Little Tea can triumph over history.
My Book Review:
In Little Tea, author Claire Fullerton weaves a beautifully written Southern Fiction tale about the bonds of friendship, family drama, choices, heartbreak, love and loss, and racial relations.
After ten years apart, lifelong friends Celia, Renny and Ava reconnect for a three-day-weekend at Renny's lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas. The passage of years and long distance locations haven't altered their strong bond of friendship. As the three friends reminisce about their teen years, life choices, decisions, and current relationship issues, Celia finds herself drawn back down memory lane to her teenage years as she seeks closure to a tumultous time growing up in the Deep South.
Little Tea is a compelling story about friendship, family dynamics, Southern traditions and way of life, choice, decisions, love and loss, racial relations, and the balance of life. Told in alternating timelines between the present at Renny's lake house, and their teen years in the 1980s, Celia takes the reader on a journey back to her teen years at her family's plantation/farm in Como, Mississsippi and city home in Memphis, Tennessee. The alternating storylines intertwine in a compelling way inwhich it unfolds a story that mixes a strong bond of friendship with the Southern tendency to keep everything light and pleasant no matter what, which hides the reality of the division of racial relations that were very much a part of the Southern tradition and landscape.
The author weaves a thoughtful tale that takes the reader on a roller coaster ride where they will experience the full gamut of emotions. The story has a wonderful mixture of heartbreak and hope, and its realistic message that life can change in a blink of an eye, but can also balance the scale with joy, happiness, and second chances, and the topic of racial relations will provide the reader with much food for thought. While I thoroughly enjoyed the friends weekend get-together, I found myself completely engrossed in Celia's flashback to her past, especially her friendship with Little Tea, and their families' intertwined relationship which left me feeling the full gamut of emotions. The surprise ending beautifully brings the story full-circle, and will certainly leave a smile on your face.
Little Tea is a lovely story that will resonate with the reader for quite some time. It is an amazing story of love, loss, family, friendship, and second chances that will simply stir your soul!
RATING: 5 STARS
About The Author
Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970's Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers' Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire's first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire's 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review's Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.
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