Miss Julia Delivers The Goods

May 11th. 2009

In a previous blog, I mentioned how I became a fan of Ann B. Ross and her Miss Julia series of books describing the adventures of an acerbic Southern lady. Having read so many of the books in this series, I feel like I could walk into Miss Julia’s North Carolina house, recognize the rooms and give Lillian a big hug before I sat down at the kitchen table to bite into one of Lillian’s famous pies. I’ve been with Miss Julia through almost every one of her scrapes and misunderstandings–to the point I kind of wonder how the people in her world still put up with her circular logic. So, it was with some anticipation that I sat down to start reading the latest book, Miss Julia Delivers The Goods. Well, maybe there was a lot going on in my life these last few weeks (true enough) but I just couldn’t get in to it. I failed to understand the motivations for a lot of what was going on between the pages. I’m not going to say that Miss Julia jumped the shark with Hazel Marie’s pregnancy and Sam’s robbery, but I am wondering how much more can happen before I run out of patience with Miss Julia. Maybe her energy levels just wear me out. One thing I can say is Ann B. Ross is consistent in her characterizations and voice. “Voice” is a big deal with authors. It’s an almost invisible characteristic that imprints itself on vocabulary, sentence structure, pacing and plot development. It’s that indefinable thing that makes you love one author and pass on another. I don’t know if Ann is intimately acquainted with someone like Miss Julia, if that’s why she always maintains her distinction, but its admirable. Series are hard to write. Anyway, if you’re intrigued by how a Southern lady can live like its 1964 in the twenty-first century, then start with Ann’s first novel, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind.

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