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Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale (edition 2012)

by Lynda Rutledge

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1383686,938 (3.7)17
jlshall's review
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At first, I was a little disappointed by this book. The story seemed far-fetched and yet, at the same time, formulaic. Over time, though, I found myself becoming more and more drawn into Faith's story -- while she never became really likable, her descent into dementia was a moving and frightening tale. Probably not a book I'd recommend to everyone, but it was well written and a fast read. I'd definitely like to see more by this author. ( )
  jlshall | Jun 25, 2012 |
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It’s December 31, 1999 – and Faith Bass Darling has heard the voice of God, who has told her to divest herself of all her stuff – priceless antiques, Tiffany lamps, collectible coins and all. She’s a lonely old soul, with her husband and son dead and her only daughter estranged. And there’s some unspoken-of tragedy in her past that the author alludes to ad nauseum.

The people of Bass (Texas) are more than eager to help Faith rid her yard of the stuff of her life. And there’s no way the local deputy sheriff, John Jasper Johnson, a friend of her late son Michael’s, can do a thing about it. It’s her stuff. Nor can Bobbie Ann Blankenship, antique dealer and friend of Faith’s daughter Claudia Jean, who is appalled that Faith sold a Chippendale armoire for $20 … and Tiffany lamps for $1. It’s an Antiques Roadshow fan’s dream but Bobbie Ann’s nightmare! So, she contacts Claudia Jean, who reluctantly heads home to a mother she’s written out of her life.

Although I thought the plot was intriguing, it seemed to be buried in angst-ridden internal dialogue and overwrought prose. I confess I started speed-reading through some of the yada-yada-yada parts and read for the plot alone. Disappointing all around. ( )
  NewsieQ | Jul 2, 2014 |
A story of the past and all that it encompasses. Choices,actions,people and possesions all surroudied by faith and how it leads us home. ( )
  blkhart13 | Apr 6, 2014 |
What I thought was going to be a light humorous page turner ended up turning into one of my favorite books of the year. Combine an elderly woman (Faith Bass Darling) with Alzheimer's, a minister who isn't sure what he believes anymore, a patrol officer with a past tangled with Faith (and the rest of her family), and a long-gone adult daughter with plenty of issues of her own, and you get an outstanding cast of characters. The turmoil each of these characters go through (together and apart) offer us a chance to look at estrangement, second-chances, family, and memories tangled with misunderstandings. This is not a book to be missed -- I have already sent it home with a patron! ( )
  laona | Mar 1, 2014 |
"Actually 3.5 stars. I liked this book about Faith Darling's last garage sale. She woke up on the last day before Y2K (remember that?!?) and started dragging priceless antiques out onto the lawn to sell for $1.00 or so because God told her to. Lots of things going on and lots of sadness to resolve." ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Sep 21, 2013 |
This book was recommended by a LibraryThing friend who is always spot on when it comes to knowing book that I would enjoyed. The bittersweet story of Faith Bass Darling's last garage sale is one of reconnections, faith and secrets kept.

Reading the first few chapters, my impression was the story would be in the style of Frannie Flagg but found the tale to be one which questioned faith and the true facts that history invents. The storyline did make me a tad anxious with all the valuable antiques being sold for rock bottom prices. Family heirlooms should be treated as treasures and not as dime story items. My modest ancestors had few items to pass down to family but each is a reminder of those who came before us. Once I understood the real reason why Faith wish to clean the house of the antiques, I enjoyed the story.

No romance in the book,no real mystery but well developed characters will attract and delight you in this book. ( )
  Gingersnap000 | Jul 25, 2013 |
AWARD WINNER: Texas Library Association named it to their 2013 Lariat List of the TOP 25 NOVELS of 2012.
  lyndars | May 3, 2013 |
FAITH BASS DARLING'S LAST GARAGE SALE by Lynda Rutledge is an interesting inspirational Women's fiction set in Bass,Texas. Follow Faith Bass Darling on an adventure of second chances,redemption,family secrets,faith,a lifetime of memories. Possessions does not make the person or their life as Faith learns. A charming,enduring story of triumph and heartbreak. What a charming debut for this author. If you enjoy small town life,a bit of laughter,heartbreak,and a lot of love this is the story for you. With engaging,charming,and eccentric characters you will adore and love "Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale" long after the last page. Received for an honest review from the publisher.
RATING: 4
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Jan 31, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved this book. it reminds me of a Fannie Flagg novel and the Help, southern charm on the surface but meaty issues just lying in wait. the characters were well developed, I look forward to rading more from Lynda Rutledge. ( )
  mccin68 | Dec 6, 2012 |
I just LOVE it when I discover an incredible new writer. With a title like that, I had no idea, but now I see the playful "why" behind such a title and that's been the experience throughout.

There are usually at least 1 of 3 reasons a person keeps reading a novel--character, plot, or language. In my experience as a librarian, either the characters are engaging enough to keep you reading, or the plot piques the curiosity to find out what happens, or the beauty of the writing carries you on. Rutledge's novel has ALL 3. I can't say enough about the fun as well as the depth of this novel's characters, plot, and deft language. THIS WOMAN can write. I wouldn't be surprised to find out she has literature degrees.

This debut novelist deserves to do another and I hope it's soon. So glad I stumbled on it. Thanks to LibraryThing for helping me do so.

I'm going to have such fun telling others about it! ( )
  jeanrkendrick | Sep 5, 2012 |
Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale is a story of what happens at the end of a life. What are the things you keep, lose or give away...What happens when one day you wake up knowing this will be your last day?
If you are saucy 70 yr. old Faith Bass darling, the richest gal in Bass Texas you decide on the spur of the moment to have a garage sale and sell all the things you once thought were so very, very important to you.

Faith wakes up on the last day of 1999 confused and alone, knowing that tonight she will die but before she goes she must have a huge garage sale because God woke her up and told her so!

Her husband and son are dead, her daughter is estranged. She is alone with a huge house full of treasures. Her mind is failing and she is moving back and forth in time reflecting on the parts of her life, good and bad that she can still remember.

She reconnects with friends & neighbors she has not seen for years with her garage sale who are delighted with her high priced merchandise going for pennies!
There are some heartbreaking, funny and bittersweet moments in this book. It is a very good and satisfying read ( )
  annie.michelle | Jul 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I haven't enjoyed reading a book this much in months. It's almost a shame to have to write a review, but it certainly deserves to be shared and trumpeted.

On December 31, 1999 God tells Faith Bass Darling, the richest woman in Bass Texas, to sell everything she owns, including her 40 priceless Tiffany lamps, because this is her last day on earth. Faith hasn't always paid much attention to the almighty, but since there's been a lot of hoopla and worry about the New Millenium coming tonite, she decides she'd better follow directions. Faith's Alzheimer's has led her to become more and more recluse --she hasn't left her mansion in almost 20 years; more and more forgetful -- she has a mantra she repeats constantly to prove to herself that she still knows who she is, where she is and what day it is; and she's completely lost contact with her daughter, her only living relative. So when she begins hauling out her priceless antiques from the family's century old collection and selling them for pennies, the word spreads faster than melted butter on hot corn.

The local sheriff (a football teammate of her deceased son) and the area's premier antique dealer (a childhood friend of her daughter's) both try to convince Faith that this yard sale isn't really a good idea. The family dynamics and memories that are stirred up when the daughter arrives make this much more than the farce it could have been.

Lynn Rutledge, in her debut novel, has given us a gift. Readers are introduced to a gentle, complex lady clinging desperately to the threads of her memories, who has just enough rationality left to understand that her "stuff" doesn't matter-- it's not what makes her happy or unhappy, it can't bring back her son, and it obviously can't keep her from losing her memories, and ultimately her life.

The other characters are equally as well drawn, complex, and just plain likeable. As a reader, you are immediately drawn to all of them; you cry with them, you laugh with them, and you find yourself wanting to help in anyway you can to make life better. The story plays out in only one day, with a beautifully written ending that leaves the reader wanting more, knowing it won't happen, and ultimately being satisfied with how the New Year begins. This story is a delight. Let's hope that Ms. Rutledge has more treats like this one in her future. ( )
2 vote tututhefirst | Jul 15, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book started very much like a "chick-lit" book, but very quickly I found that this book had a much deeper meaning. Thru the eyes of Faith Bass Darling, the reader becomes aware that something is wrong with her and later find that she is quickly progressing thru the stages of alzheimer's. The reader is drawn into the sad results of Faith's memories and what she is experiencing. I have a newfound respect for the alzheimer patient and their family. This is a great read! ( )
  athometarheel | Jul 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At first, I was a little disappointed by this book. The story seemed far-fetched and yet, at the same time, formulaic. Over time, though, I found myself becoming more and more drawn into Faith's story -- while she never became really likable, her descent into dementia was a moving and frightening tale. Probably not a book I'd recommend to everyone, but it was well written and a fast read. I'd definitely like to see more by this author. ( )
  jlshall | Jun 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of this book as an Early Reviewer

Septuagenarian Faith Bass Darling—once spunky and vibrant, now merely eccentric—has dementia and her memories are unreliable at best. On the eve of Y2K, acting on a message from God, reclusive Faith puts all of her worldly possessions out on the front lawn to sell for a fraction of their considerable worth. Estranged daughter Claudia returns to find what's left of her family estate in shambles, a legacy extinguished. Her mother is now virtually unreachable, proving even old money and good health can't buy a happy ending.

The story features well-developed and endearing characters, revealing a history of a privileged family life tinged with sadness and misunderstanding. Author Rutledge ultimately asks us to consider: what is left of who we are if our memories fail and our possessions no longer hold any value? What if we gave it all away?
  live4tea | Jun 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What the publisher wants us to know:

On the last day of the millennium, sassy Faith Bass Darling decides to have a garage sale. Why is the richest lady in Bass, Texas, a recluse for twenty years, suddenly selling off her worldly possessions? As the townspeople grab up the heirlooms, and the antiques reveal their own secret stories,a cast of characters appears to witness the sale or try to stop it. Before the day is over, they’ll all examine their roles in the Bass family saga, as well as some of life’s most imponderable questions: Do our possessions possess us? What are we without our memories? Is there life after death or second chances here on earth? And is Faith really selling that Tiffany lamp for $1?

My thoughts about Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale:

Holy shmoly, the premise of this book just grabbed me, I loved the idea! Starting with a first glimpse of things to come when author Lynda Rutledge immerses the reader into the "garage sale" theme with the provenance of a Louis XV elephant clock and a brief story of how it got to Texas. Rutledge then follows with the preface and a partial list of items up for grabs in Faith Bass Darling's garage sale. You get the idea that there will be some jumping around in time and some exploration of the "last garage sale" theme.

The theme being the end of Faith's life as she knows it, you quickly learn that her ability to stay grounded in 1999 is wavering when she pays some neighbor boys in $20 gold coins for helping move furniture, and they want "real" paper money. Rutledge shows us that Faith is having trouble keeping her doctor's name straight as she confuses him with her long dead physician. The author quickly paints a clear picture of Faith's world in Bass, Texas in 1999. She has Alzheimer's and spends a lot of time in the past, sharing the stories behind the items she's selling and the misconceptions of the meanings in old family letters and notes. Things aren't always what they seem to be.

But about a third of the way through this story, I began to get depressed. I mean really depressed. As prospective readers, the synopsis of the story, to me, paints a more humorous picture of what this book is about. There are humorous and very touching moments, but I feel as if the description paints a picture that isn't quite the view we actually get. I wish the synopsis had been a bit less light and fluffy, then I would have been more inclined to be prepared for what Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale really is about.

It's a nicely told, if slow, story of the things and people in our lives and how we project our idea of what they are worth. It's the story of a woman at the end her life who has chosen to dispose of the things in her world and along the way to deal with unfinished threads in her life, her estranged daughter.

All in all, I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars as it was a bit slow and I thought the back and forth was a bit over done and often was hard to keep up with.

I look forward to the next book from Lynda Rutledge, but next time...maybe I'll take the synopsis with a grain of salt and open the book with no expectations about the story.

**I received this book through a LibraryThing.com Early Reviewer giveaway and have written my honest opinion. ( )
  NovelChatter | Jun 11, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I thought the premise of this book was intriguing and that is why I requested it as an Early Reviewer. I think the author did a decent job at revealing what life might be like for someone with Alzheimer's who still has some lucid moments but is not far from losing touch with their memories and reality. I think that Faith's recitation of the facts of her life seemed like the kind of strategy that someone with Alzheimer's would employ. And I think the author made a compelling case for the reality that material possessions are not the be-all and end-all of life. ( )
  knlinwi | May 29, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I chose this book as an Early Reviewer, drawn in by the unique title of course. Don't be fooled by the title and cover like I was though: this is not Chick Lit!

The story begins on December 31, 1999 with God telling an elderly Faith to sell all her valuable/priceless belongings in a garage sale because it will be her last day on earth. Even though she hasn't talked to God since her son died twenty years ago she begins dragging everything outside and telling people to pay what they can. Word gets around her small town quickly and everyone starts showing up to see what's been inside that mansion all these years while getting a sweet deal to boot. My favorite part is when she refuses to sell a Tiffany lamp to a neighbor she has feuded with for years. If you've ever quarreled with a neighbor you probably understand why even the fear of God can't force her to mend that fence.

The fun ends quickly when it becomes clear that Faith actually has Alzheimer's disease. Her husband and son have been dead for years, and her daughter ran away with the family ring when she was a teenager. Suddenly Faith is seeing them all again as dementia clouds her mind and various items spark a memory. My favorite quote is, "'Without our memories, who are we John Jasper?' Faith's gaze wandered again. 'I'd rather not have some of my memories, and God knows it's been a small bit of grace not to remember them for long stretches of time. But good or bad, they're mine, they're who I am.'"

It was sad to read this story and consider dealing with memory loss, but the joy of the story is assessing the true value of the items we gather to make our homes. ( )
  PaperbackPirate | May 22, 2012 |
December 31, 1999. Y2K madness. Tiffany lamps. Elephant clocks. Rolltop desks. A ring. Faith and faith. Family secrets. Forgotten friends. Memories. Possessions. Welcome to the eponymous Bass, TX, and the spontaneous yard sale rolling out on the lawn of the stately Queen Anne mansion owned by Faith Bass Darling who, in her 69th year, decides that she does not want to go before she's gone or die before she's dead. This book reminded me why I love to read. ( )
  owlsfeathers | May 19, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It's the day before the dawning of the 21st Century and Faith Bass Darling is convinced she must rid herself of all her possessions. This is the story of a disfunctional family and their neighbors that is at times sad, heartwarming, and funny. I'll be recommending this book to my friends. I'm looking forward from more from this author. ( )
  riversong | May 10, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I thought this book was going to be a fun light read. It definitely wasn't that. In the beginning I didn't think I was going to like the book, but I think I just needed to get over my misconception that this wasn't going to be a fun read yet a more meaningful one.

This book covers dementia, family secrets, and tragedies. If you happen to read this book just remember it's not light-hearted and give it a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised. ( )
  bbellthom | Apr 29, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novel gives a glimpse into the mind of someone with dementia and it's heart-breaking. The story also raises interesting questions about memory and possessions. What makes up a person? is it the things we surround ourselves with? is it our current thoughts? is it our memories? what happens to the person and how they're defined with one or more of those categories are radically shifted?

Worth the read, thanks LT! ( )
  Mooose | Apr 27, 2012 |
There's an old saying money can't buy happiness and that's very true for Faith Bass Darling, she lost her son in a terrible accident, her husband's death followed soon after and her daughter ran away in her teens, yes this was years ago but Faith seems to be reliving it like an old movie loop. Now lately her days aren't as clear as they once were but when she's woken up not once but three times by a God she hasn't spoken to in years, she takes notice. Does he give her an epiphany, or give her prophecies, oh no he tells her to clear out her stately mansion in Bass Texas and have a garage sale to end all garage sales and on this the most momentous of days, December 31, 1999.
So on the dawn of a new century lives will change in the small once prosperous now mostly forgotten town of Bass Texas and the ripple effect will spread until no one is spared the backlash, especially Faith, Bobbie Ann Blankenship, Claudia Darling, Father George Fallow and John Jasper Johnson. These lives will be changed forever, but will the sale change them for the good or for the worse.
I love reading debut novels, it always feels like birth when a new voice in the writing community comes on the scene and it was no different with this unexpected gem of a novel. Now by the title you might think that Ms. Rutledge has a comedy, well you'd be wrong just like I was. Instead inside this book I found the epic struggles of her characters and finally absolution and resolution, there were haunted and troubled people who could be anyone I know and I loved how the author came to her conclusions and found solace for her troubled crew. She used dialogue that I could easily read and understand and her narrative was animated enough that I could easily put myself in the scenes she created. This is a read that would appeal to a wide audience by both sexes and many ages. Now if you're looking for a novel that gives you a concrete conclusion this isn't for you, but if like me you like to have that almost absolute ending yet with degrees of variations left to your own imagination, then this is definitely your next must read.
Ms. Rutledge this was exactly the kind of novel that goes on my keeper shelf to be brought out to read again and again and to share with only those who can be trusted with a treasured keepsake. Thank you and I look forward to what you come up with next.
Here is the Q&A I did with the author Lynda Rutledge http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Fiction-General-Discussion/New-Release-fe... ( )
  dhaupt | Apr 26, 2012 |
I thought this story was going to be a quirky and lighthearted Southern tale but it was actually a much darker story of love and loss. Watching as Faith Bass Darling slowly melts away in the course of one day, as her daughter struggles to find herself, as John Jasper tries to reconcile himself to his past is more sad than anything else. The book was very well-written and the characters appealing, and I loved the way the mansion and its contents take on a life of their own throughout the narrative. This book is a great read, but ultimately a little too sad for me without sufficient redemption in the end to make it five stars. ( )
  ForeignCircus | Apr 21, 2012 |
I was blown away by this book. I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley and, somewhat reluctantly, began to read what I thought to be another piece of silly Southern chick-lit packed with half-baked absurdities.

Wrong. There are more issues to confront and questions to consider than items for sale in the celebrated yard sale.

Read this book. ( )
1 vote PMelchior | Apr 21, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge is a story about the items we own and the obligations they hold us to.

The story is told through the voices of four main characters - Faith; Claudia, Faith’s adult daughter; John Jasper, Faith’s son’s childhood friend; Father George, the town’s Episcopal priest. There are a few secondary characters who flesh out the story and help the reader to understand another side of what the past and the present.

The story jumps between present day, December 31, 1999 in Bass, TX and the past, mostly the months around the time when Faith’s son and husband died, in 1977. Faith wakes up early in the morning on December 31, 1999 after she hears the voice of God telling her to sell all her things, all her family things, everything she has held near and dear her entire life, sell them all in a garage sale because today will be the last day of her life. She proceeds with this task, coming out of her house for the first time in years. The neighbors are talking, deciding she is definitely crazy but also don’t pass up a chance to buy a Tiffany lamp for a dollar. Claudia Darling arrives back in town on this day, the first time being back after she ran away 20 years ago. She has her own skeletons in the closet to contend with and work to find freedom from. John Jasper, his own life story has been interwoven with the Darling family for years. A tragic accident starts the ball rolling for his life to change and he spends years trying to overcome the guilt and bad memories. Even though Faith is Baptist, is turns to Father George in times of despair. On this last day of the year she calls her to help her and he feels unfit to help since he’s not sure he’s believed in the word of God for a very long time. In the process of helping her, he is healed from this through.

I would recommend Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale if you are looking for a book about family, history, growing old, and letting go of the things that possess us so you can live a more free life. ( )
1 vote lasperschlager | Apr 19, 2012 |
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