Customer Reviews for

Flowers For Elvis

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( 8 )
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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    Has it all

    I laughed. I cried. I recommended it to everyone I know. Definitly on my top five book list. I am a Southerner and it hits dead on. I was so amused, I laughed out loud and somewhere along the journey I cried out loud. Flowers for Elvis has it all, it is a must read.

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  • Posted September 29, 2010


    This was not one of my favorite books or one of the best that I've read but it held my attention. I liked the concept, twins born, one doesnt make it and becomes the self appointed guardian angel for her sister.

    The secrets, the hiding, the fakeness of the characters was really hard for me to read and relate to. I understand all families have their secrets but there was just something about this story that I can't really put my finger on that didn't sit well with me.

    It's quirky, funny and heartwarming and an easy weekend read. I think this would be a nice pick for bookclub discussions.

    In my opinion this is one of the best things about having a Kindle and a Nook. eBooks at very nice prices that allows us to read outside of our reading box and some finds are better than others but it's always a good experience.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Flowers for Elvis is a touching tale made stronger by a unexpected spin

    Single woman Willard gives birth to twins; one is white while the other is black. She knows that in the Eisenhower era in Mississippi she, the kids and her lover would be lynched. However, the black child Olivia dies, but instead of the newborn's soul going to heaven she remains at the portal to watch over her sister whose life will be difficult. Willard's sister Genevieve is also pregnant and the Mother Superior orders her to keep her niece (though she doesn't know it is her sister's child) saying she had twins.----------

    Over the years Olivia's spirit watches over her twins whom she loves equally. They do not have an easy life because Genevieve is a bit touched, ignoring her children as they grow up; providing a terrible home-life due to drinking, stealing and turning tricks. As a young teen Louisa gets pregnant and her lover refuses to leave his wife. Louisa stays with him as his mistress; she has several miscarriages. Her twin Anna Beth tries to be supportive and though their lives are stretched neither breaks. However, their attitude towards their mom is different as they have given up trying to reach the horrid woman. Their spirit sister Olivia tries to console them as she knows God has a plan for each of them.------------

    The poignant story line focuses on a dysfunctional suburban civil Rights Era dysfunctional Mississippi family. The narrator Olivia tells the tale of her sisters and like readers learns late in the plot what her purpose is and why God cannot take her to him at this time. Genevieve suffers from mental illness but little is understood about her illness. She is self destructs believing her patron saint is Elvis and she almost destroys the twins she neglects. Flowers for Elvis is a touching tale made stronger by a unexpected spin. ---------

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    Southern Goth done well

    Set against the backdrop of the 1960s South, <b>Flowers for Elvis</b> tells the story of fraternal twin girls.  One of the babies, Olivia, dies immediately after being born.  Meanwhile, her sister continues to be raised as the twin sister of her cousin, born three days later.   Olivia's spirit, however, lingers, observing with a wry fondness the twists and turns of her sister's turbulent life.

    Though Schuster's Catholic tendencies (which tend to be traditional, somewhat conservative, but not fundamentalist) are obvious, she uses them honestly in her perception of Olivia's story, rather than a tool with which to preach to the audience.  Because the first chapters are about Olivia's birth and death and encounter with the Mother Superior who buries her, I worried a little about getting through the rest of the book.  I stumbled, a bit, over Olivia's brief encounters with God and the capitalized pronoun "He," since that doesn't reflect my own theology nor a common use in progressive churches. I'm not sure whether Schuster's trying to capture the time period of the modernist church or just mirroring her own beliefs (she's a religion teacher in Memphis, TN.) 

    The good news is, things markedly improve once the awkward introductions have been made.  I marked the page in this book where my interest was finally captured.  Page 38. It takes Schuster, a fellow former Louisville-ian, that long to get into an otherwise strange and charming tale.  Willard and Genevieve, Anna Beth and Louisa evoke the <b>Practical Magic</b> sisters or the women from Fried Green Tomatoes.  They are strong, flawed characters, loving and willful and impatient and wise.

    By the end of Flowers for Elvis, I was captivated by this story.  It helps that there's a twist I didn't expect - it's hard to surprise me - and an ending that might be one of the most perfect (in that same strange, charming way) endings I've ever read.

    If you're an Elvis fan, you should just buy this book.  Every chapter is headed with an Elvis reference, and while the King never makes an appearance, Genevieve does regard him as her patron saint and ultimate Love Interest.  If you're not an Elvis fan, you should still pick up a copy of this book.  It's an excellent summer read, and, trust me, once you finish, you're going to want to pass it on so you can discuss it with your sister or mum or friend or book group.

    Similar to:

    Fannie Flagg
    Barbara Kingsolver
    Billie Letts

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Wild Ride!

    Julia Schuster entertains with a rollicking novel that is both poignant and hysterical. Twin sisters in a dysfunctional family try to survive in a world peopled with ghosts and cloistered nuns. Throw in Elvis and you have a fun, yet serious read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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