Mermaids in the Basement

Mermaids in the Basement

Book - 2008
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The beloved bestselling author of Crazy Ladies returns with a funny and poignant tale that explores the complex bonds between a daughter and her father.

Reeling from the loss of her mother, plagued with a bad case of writer's block (and don't even talk about that extra twenty pounds), Renata DeChavannes feels as though everything is just plain wrong. And that was before the tabloids caught her sweetheart, filmmaker Ferg Lauderdale, sharing an intimate squeeze with Hollywood's hottest young tamale.

But the granddaughter of the formidable Honora DeChavannes possesses more hell than belle in her backbone--and she's about to reclaim it. Heading south to Honora's home on the Gulf Coast, Renata is determined to stop feeling like a wilted gardenia and emerge as the unstoppable kudzu her beloved grandmother proudly proclaimed she would be: "I'll just tell you, Sherman may have burned the South, but kudzu will engulf it." But for that to happen Renata's got to face some not-so-genteel ghosts from her past, discover the truth about the mother she desperately misses, and make peace with the first man who abandoned her and broke her heart--her handsome and distant father.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2008
ISBN: 9780060184056
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 290 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 25, 2016

I'm often drawn to books with pretentious titles such as this one, with an artsy cover and focusing on family drama. I suppose I enjoy reading about families with secrets juicier than my own. I've never been to the south, so I don't pretend their way of life, or their speech, or their cuisine- but it's wonderful to read a slice of life story like this one and feel like you belong, even if it's just for a few minutes. Point Clear sounds just heavenly- and I'd never thought I'd say such a thing about Alabama.
I suppose my only gripe(s) with this book reside in the characters themselves- their inability to tell the truth to Renata about the past. It seems as though she needs to place her hooks into these older women to drag it out of them. It seems rather a dichotomy: they will gossip about anyone and anything, unless it's about Renata's parents. Why didn't Shelby sit down with Renata and tell her the truth before it was too late? I would much rather my children hear the truth from me than someone else. I suppose the novel wouldn't have been as long had Honora, Isabella and Gladys sat her down and told her everything at once; you know, like it would have happened in real life.
Can we stop a minute and talk about Isabella drugging everyone? That's an offense that's dangerously overlooked here. She has clearly put several people in the hospital, and Honora and everyone else just slap their knees and go "Oh that Isabella". I would call the cops on her in a second. Get your kicks somewhere else, lady.
All in all, the book read smoothly enough, and it felt like a decent beach read. If you liked Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, you'll love this one.


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