March 2011

Southern belle style

By Mark Childress
Review by
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Georgia Bottoms is the blond, beautiful Southern belle next door. As the central character in Mark Childress’ new novel, aptly titled for the aforementioned Georgia, she is the center of attention in Six Points, Alabama.

The vivacious Georgia grew up in the tiny town and, like everybody else there, she stayed put. Her best friend, Krystal, is the city’s mayor, her brother, “Brother,” is the municipal misfit, and her momma, plagued with dementia, is losing her mind.

The good Southern Baptist that she is, Georgia has occupied the same pew at church for as long as she can remember. Trouble is, lately she’s not coming to find forgiveness. Rather, Georgia Bottoms opens with Georgia feigning a fainting spell to keep the preacher from confessing from the pulpit. You see, he’s been spending his Saturday nights apart from his family and in Georgia’s arms. And he’s not the only guilty one singing hymns on Sunday mornings. But Georgia can’t risk letting his pious conscience get the best of him—she has too much at stake. The Bottoms family fortune is long gone, and Georgia has a long-kept secret for which she needs the cash flow. And it’s not just for her manicures or her Belk shopping sprees, either.

Childress, an Alabama native, brings the same humor and flair for drama to Georgia Bottoms that made his novel Crazy in Alabama such a hit. He is a master of penning dialect, especially when it’s uttered south of the Mason-Dixon line. Georgia’s Southern accent floats off the page, making Georgia Bottoms a quick, entertaining novel for Childress fans and new readers alike. If you’ve got Southern roots, this is a must-read, y’all.

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Georgia Bottoms

Georgia Bottoms

By Mark Childress
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316033046

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