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Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
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Cold Sassy Tree (1984)

by Olive Ann Burns

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,450702,281 (3.91)108
  1. 120
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    citygirl: Small, Southern towns of yesteryear, with a folksy feel and entertaining characters.
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    The Reivers by William Faulkner (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Reivers by William Faulkner has a similar feel as Cold Sassy, with a similar leading character. But the Reivers is a bit more dark and has a more solid story.
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» See also 108 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
I could not finish this book. I forced myself to keep reading/skimming until I got to chapter 17. One of the ladies at my book club said that if I liked "Gone With the Wind," I would enjoy this book. Umm. No. Sadly, this is not the case. You know that scene in Gone With the Wind where the city of Atlanta is burning down? I wish someone would toss this book in the fire too...

( )
  caslater83 | Sep 20, 2018 |
Digital Audiobook performed by Grover Gardner

Thirteen-year-old Will Tweedy narrates Burns’ historical novel which takes place in the small Georgia town of Cold Sassy Tree circa 1906. It starts when his grandfather, E Rucker Blakeslee elopes with Miss Love Simpson. It’s a scandal, given that Blakeslee’s wife was buried just three weeks prior, that Miss Simpson is only half Blakeslee’s age, and even worse, Love is a Yankee!

Oh ,what a treat this novel is! The characters are richly drawn, and cover the gamut of personalities. I was completely engaged in the story from beginning to end, laughing aloud several times as I watched the residents engage in gossip and speculation. Change is a constant theme … from the personal relationships to the introduction of automobiles, the citizens of Cold Sassy Tree manage to adjust, sometimes with grace and other times with more than a little consternation.

Will is a wonderful observer with the curiosity of a young boy, especially when it comes to relationships between male and female adults. I loved the pranks he played and the tall tales he wove. And was touched by the tenderness of his first love.

Grover Gardner does a marvelous job performing the audio. He has a lot of characters to interpret and does a great job of Will Tweedy and Grandpa Blakeslee. He even does an acceptable rendition of the female voices. ( )
  BookConcierge | Sep 14, 2018 |
The cornpone humor and outrageous characters grew on me as I got further into this story about 14-year-old Will Tweedy, his recently widowed Grandpa and Grandpa's young bride, Love Simpson. As Southern literature goes, this was more on the 'Hee Haw' end of the spectrum but it still had some touching insights into human nature and sincere affirmations of faith. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 9, 2018 |
Setting is Georgia in the early 1900's. The first 60 pages is a slow go. I didn't think the author would ever go beyond the Granny dying. The only thing that kept me going was the Southern way of talking. I would have loved to have heard this book on audio!
Story is told by a young boy Will Tweedy and tells about his relationships with his family, esp his grandfather E. Rucker Blakeslee. After Granny dies, Will Tweedy's grandfather remarries within 3 weeks. She's much younger and a Yankee which sets the tongues wagging in this small town of Cold Sassy Tree. Besides this ruckus, the story also dwells on all of Will Tweedy's laughable antics and they are many.
I probably would not have read this but it was a book club book, but having said that, I am glad that I did finish it. ( )
  travelgal | Feb 24, 2018 |
This story is told through the eyes of Will Tweedy who is a fourteen year old boy. It is mostly about his relationship with his grandfather who after only two weeks of widowhood elopes with a woman much younger than he is. It takes place in a small town in the South in 1906. It is kind of a sweet love story but a bit slow. Maybe slow is the point as southern living is suppose to be at a much slower pace than up North. I liked the story well enough and the characters were likeable. I just saw that there is a sequel but doubt I will read it. ( )
  bostonterrio | Nov 21, 2017 |
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To Andy my beloved
To Becky and John our grown children
And to my father who was fourteen in 1906
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Three weeks after Granny Blakeslee died, Grandpa came to our house for his early morning snort of whiskey, as usual, and said to me, "Will Tweedy? Go find your mama, then run up to yore Aunt Loma's and tell her I said git on down here. I got something to say. And I ain't a -go'n say it but once't."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038531258X, Paperback)

If the preacher's wife's petticoat showed, the ladies would make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things took a scandalous turn. That was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson—a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy's adventures began and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town came to life. Not since To Kill A Mockingbird has a novel so deftly captured the subtle crosscurrents of small-town Southern life. Olive Ann Burns classic bestseller brings to vivid life an era that will never exist again, exploring timeless issues of love, death, coming of age, and the ties that bind families and generations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Modern times come to a conservative Southern town in 1906 when the proprietor of the general store elopes with a woman half his age, and worse yet, a Yankee. The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperone, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century. Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy, Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style.… (more)

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