My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: A brilliant, hilarious, and touching story with a Texas twist from Liza Palmer, author of Conversations With The Fat Girl (optioned for HBO)
Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family's reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It's been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can't be that bad…
Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?
At least she has a new job-sure it's cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don't complain!
But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.
My thoughts: I liked this book quite a bit more than the first book I read by this author. I liked the relationship between Queenie and her sister, Merry Carol. I enjoyed the quips between two that understand each other regardless of the fact they haven't seen much of each other for the past few years. I didn't find that unbelievable. Sisters and very old friends are like that. I liked the relationship between Queenie and her nephew and between her nephew and his blood half brother. I didn't care much for the "romance" between Queenie and her one true love. It just didn't work for me.
The story is about making peace and coming full circle. There is a scene in the book that I will admit that I teared up over. I won't tell you anything about it but it's what pushed this book to a level that would have given it 4 stars. Small towns are clique-y but I really, really hope they are not THAT clique-y at grown up age. I would really hope that, despite appearances to be maintained, a grown man or woman would have enough on his or her plate with raising children and stresses at jobs along with any kind of marital strife that the cliques would diminish at least to some degree.
I'd recommend the book for a good story overall with low expectations of romance but abundant closure.