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Flies on the Butter - eBook
Thomas Nelson / 2007 / ePub
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When Rose Fletcher left Mullins, South Carolina, she shook the dust off her feet. But now she's got her car pointed South and her foot on the gas, racing for the past hoping to leave her present troubles behind.
Can you ever really go home again?
Rose Fletcher's come a long way from her South Carolina up-bringing of Sunday church and Mamaw's fried chicken. As a high-powered lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Rose has put the South behind her. But the peace and happiness she has sought eludes her. With her marriage on the brink of disaster, her mind races with the chaos her life has become.
Now Rose must head south for home. She'll face her demons, relive her coming-of-age, and confront the issues that have kept her away all these years. It'll take the intervention of strangers and a painful miracle of grace to help her find that place called "home" once again.
Hildreth, author of the popular Savannah series (Savannah from Savannah, etc.), sets her disappointing new stand-alone in a car. When Washington, D.C., lobbyist Rose Fletcher is called home to South Carolina, she takes the long drive as an opportunity to reflect on the mess she's made of her life: she's estranged from her mother; she has deceived her husband, using birth control while pretending to try to get pregnant; and she's been having an affair. Will the trip home give her a new perspective? But of course. The book is organized in flashbacks, each inspired by someone Rose meets during her daylong drive home. This structure is irksome and distracting (as is the question of why a high-powered professional who's attached at the hip to her BlackBerry didn't fly in the first place). Character development is weak, too: Rose's contradictions (a children's rights lobbyist who is too wrapped up in her own career to have kids) can be heavy-handed, and the Southern eccentrics she meets on the way home, such as the wise and fulfilled working-class mom, are caricatures. The happy ending is also predictable. Still, as with many of WestBow's other offerings, this novel is edgier than much Christian fiction, with its frank discussion of adultery and its somewhat subtle, though nonetheless central, treatment of faith. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
As the author of several successful Southern-themed novels and a resident of the South herself, Denise Hildreth brings that region, complete with its most charming foibles, to vibrant life through the edgy and witty prose of her most recent triumph, Flies on the Butter.
Rose Fletcher, a hardened businesswoman, has spent most of her adult life running from her native South and its painful memories. But circumstances unknown to the reader have Rose returning to her hometown of Mullins, South Carolina for the winter. With each mile her chic Lexus covers, Rose is forced to deal with more and more of the pain-filled past to which she thought herself long hardened. Along her journey, Rose encounters a potpourri of colorful Southern characters, ranging from the nostalgic and elderly gas station employee, Herschel, to a plump and pushy diner waitress named Daisy, all of whom propel Rose along her spiritual, as well as geographical, journey. In the end, Rose must come to realize that no matter how fast she may run, she will never be able move into her future without first mending the fragments of her past.
Because Rose is an unbeliever, readers can expect to encounter material falling short of biblical standards. Rose, however, is a powerful illustration of the brokenness of the world outside of Christs touch. This story provides readers with useful insights into the hearts of those for whom Christ most persistently reaches. And it is the very darkness of Roses character that, in the end, so beautifully highlights Gods restorative light and love.
Flies in the Butter quickly engages readers in its colorful setting through the use of quirky dialogue, vivid descriptions and humorous colloquialisms that capture the unique spirit of the South. Though at times Hildreths use of stereotypes may cross the line of plausibility, it nonetheless provides Flies in the Butter with a delightful aura of its own, complete with fried chicken, glass-bottled Coca-Colas, and collard greens, against which Rose stands in humorous contrast.
The novel also uses flashbacks in order to peel back Roses hard exterior and reveal the unraveling of her initially happy childhood. Rose is a character for whom the reader, upon first glance, would grant little sympathy, and she would certainly ask for none. But as stories of Roses past are unveiled, the reader catches a glimpse of the broken woman beneath her no-nonsense exterior. In addition to offering valuable insight into Roses character and choices, the flashbacks also keep the novels pace fast and energetic and offer an ever-varying backdrop against which Hildreth stages her novel.
Overall, Flies on the Butter is an engaging and worthwhile reading experience. Although completing the novel requires wading through some uncomfortable territory, persistent and hopeful readers wont be disappointed by its resolution. To those seeking a well-written story that is both humorous and heart-wrenching, Flies in the Butter is an excellent choice and will leave the reader grateful for the touch of Gods redemptive love. Lauren Peltier, Christian Book Previews.com
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