Mark Childress has done it again with Georgia Bottoms. If you’ve never read Mark’s work, you’re in for a real treat. One of his past novels, Crazy in Alabama, was made into a movie with Melanie Griffith and David Morse. Georgia Bottoms also has the chops to make a really fun film.
Mark’s Southern women make you cheer for them from the first page, and Georgia is no exception. Whether you normally read Southern fiction or not, you’ll have a lot of fun reading this novel.
Georgia Bottoms’ family surname used to be Butts but some long-gone ancestor thought Bottoms would be more proper, given the family’s status in Alabama society. Unfortunately, their financial affairs appeared to decline in direct relation to the name change. By the time Georgia was born, the family had become shabby genteel and could ill afford to keep up their antebellum mansion. It became left to Georgia to figure out how to ensure the family remained a pillar of society in Six Points, Alabama, because Brother wasn’t going to be helping out and Little Mama just wasn’t herself these days.
“Mark Childress has written yet another laugh-out-loud Southern classic. In Georgia Bottoms, you will meet the most hilariously dysfunctional bunch of characters to come down the literary pike in years.” Fannie Flagg
To better understand Georgia, you have to know a bit more about Six Points, Alabama. It is the epitomy of teeny, tiny Southern towns. It is prideful and enmeshed, and it’s so small that it doesn’t even have cellphone service. Like most really small towns, everyone knows everyone else’s business. And if they don’t, well then they just make it up because folks in small towns love to dish the dirt. It’s their main form of entertainment and they do it as naturally as breathing.
“In Six Points, a woman had no choice but to go to church, especially a woman of a certain age who was as yet untouched by marriage. Otherwise who knows what they would say about you?”
Because Six Points is so small, Georgia has almost no options for earning a livelihood and surviving financially, so she has had to create her own little endeavor. She entertains boyfriends in the renovated “dependency” behind the mansion. Each boyfriend is only allowed to see her on his particular night, and she has them so enamored with her that they don’t question that too much. She’s very creative at what she does and pulls out all the stops to make each one happy. Each boyfriend leaves her a “gift on the highboy,” and thinks he’s the only boyfriend she has. She never asks for payment, which is very important to her. That little denial seems to be how she’s able to reconcile what she’s doing with how she sees herself as a person.
That Georgia’s able to maintain this elaborate deception in such a small town gives you a clue into how smart she is and how adept she has become at juggling everything and everyone around her. To add to the stress of all this juggling and secret-keeping, her mother, Little Mama, is sinking further and further into dementia in an utterly comical way and her brother cannot stay sober or out of trouble for a hot minute. I have to tell you that even while part of me was aching for some of what this family was going through, I was cracking up at how they were going about it. If you liked Sordid Lives, you’ll love Georgia Bottoms!
Georgia has layers and layers of secrets, a lot more than even her best friend Krystal knows. She has built her life on those secrets staying hidden and scrambles to keep each one hidden. Unfortunately when they start to unravel, it’s like watching dominoes slowly but surely fall over one by one. Each time you say to yourself, “What else could happen to this woman?!” They just keep unraveling in a rather spectacular way, which makes for one hilarious, popcorn-worthy read!
Another thing that made this such a wonderful book for me was not just the fun I had reading about the small town drama and this family’s antics but how Georgia grows out of everything that happens. Georgia is one smart cookie and you’ll find yourself cheering her on just like I did! Go Georgia!
To make it even better, one of our readers will get a free copy of Georgia Bottoms! (see below for details)
Georgia Bottoms Book Giveaway!
This Giveaway has ended – the winner is Kate Flippen!
Here’s Giveaway #3 during the May Popcorn Reads Giveaway Week! A huge thanks goes to Mark Childress for graciously providing a copy of his latest book, Georgia Bottoms, for one lucky reader to win!
All you have to do is comment. Comment about the review, Mark Childress, Southern fiction, Alabama, small towns, secrets – whatever you think could be related to Georgia Bottoms. Have fun with it because this is a fun novel!
Rules: All comments must be submitted before Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11pm PDST. Your chances of winning depend on the number of comments made, so go for it on the comments! You can comment each day until the date/time limit is reached, so don’t think you’re limited to your number of comments. Each comment counts as 1 entry. If you want this book, you can win it so go for it!
One winner will be chosen at random from all comments submitted and from a list of all Email Club members* who had joined by Sunday, May 15, 2011, at midnight PDST. *Email Club members only get the equivalent of 1 comment (one entry) in addition to any comments they make below.
The winner will be chosen by a stranger who picks the name out of a hat filled with everyone’s names/email monikers. (If you leave 5 comments, for example, your name/email moniker will be in the hat 5 times.) We’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 23, 2011. Good luck! Whoever wins this is in for a real treat!
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