Hot Fudge Sundae Blues
By Bev Marshall
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345468437, 288pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2005
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A lyrical coming-of-age story set in the 1960s, Hot Fudge Sundae Blues is an extraordinary companion to Bev Marshall’s first two novels, Walking Through Shadows and Right as Rain. Here again she mines the territory of the small town of Zebulon, Mississippi, where even the most seemingly ordinary folks harbor well-disguised heartaches and intricate secrets.
Thirteen-year-old Layla Jay was only pretending when she knelt before the preacher to seek salvation. She was hoping to make her grandma happy and get noticed by the cute new boy in town. But religion truly piques her interest when a young, handsome visiting preacher stays at her family’s home. Wallace seems genuinely interested in Layla Jay’s life–until he meets her mama and falls head over heels, like many men have before him.
When Wallace marries Frieda, Layla Jay believes she will finally have the father she’s always wanted. But it seems that none of her dreams will come true as Layla Jay wrestles with her mother’s reckless ways, her unsavory stepfather, a best friend’s betrayal, and the longing for love’s first kiss. Yet everything pales in comparison to what happens next as Layla Jay is forced to tell a lie to save her mother’s world from crashing down.
Praise for Bev Marshall’s Right as Rain
“One of those quietly absorbing stories that draw the reader right in and never let go . . . Reading this novel is like sitting on a porch in a summer breeze listening to an old friend tell you a story you know well but can’t wait to hear again.”
–New Orleans Times Picayune
“An old-fashioned Southern family saga and a page-turner, a wonderful blend of comedy and tragedy . . . These voices ring true.”
–Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury