Cold Sassy Tree
By Olive Ann Burns
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780618919710, 400pp.)
Publication Date: September 2007
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On July 5, 1906, scandal breaks in the small town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, when the proprietor of the general store, E. Rucker Blakeslee, elopes with Miss Love Simpson. He is barely three weeks a widower, and she is only half his age and a Yankee to boot. As their marriage inspires a whirlwind of local gossip, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a family scandal, and that’s where his adventures begin.
Cold Sassy Tree is the undeniably entertaining and extraordinarily moving account of small-town Southern life in a bygone era. Brimming with characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Olive Ann Burns’s classic bestseller is a timeless, funny, and resplendent treasure.
Olive Ann Burns was born in 1924 on a farm in Banks County, Georgia, and went to school in nearby Commerce, which was the model for Cold Sassy. She attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia; received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and for ten years was on the Sunday magazine staff of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She turned to fiction writing as a respite during treatment for cancer. She completed Cold Sassy Tree and a partial manuscript for its sequel, Leaving Cold Sassy, before her death in 1990.
"Rich with emotion, humor and tenderness." The Washington Post
"One of the best portraits of small-town Southern life ever written." --Pat Conroy
"One beautiful book. Better than To Kill A Mockingbird." --Shirley Abbott