The Washington Post
Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippiby Nanci Kincaid
Truely Noonan is the quintessential Southern boy made good. Like his older sister, Courtney, Truely left behind the slow, sweet life of Mississippi for jet-set San Francisco, where he earned a fortune as an Internet entrepreneur. Courtney and Truely each find happy marriages--until, as if cursed by success, those marriages start to crumble. Then their lives are interrupted by an unexpected stranger--a troubled teenager named Arnold, garrulous, charming, thuggishly dressed, and determined to move in to their world. Arnold turns their lives upside down--and in the process this unlikely trio becomes the family that each had been searching for. In the best Southern fiction tradition, Kincaid has brought us an inspiring story about finding the way home.
The Washington Post
With a sensibility as sweet as a glass of sugary iced tea and a plot as placid as a hazy summer day, Kincaid's sixth book (after As Hot As It Was You Ought to Thank Me) tracks the domestic travails of Truely and Courtney Noonan, brother and sister Mississippians who have forsaken sleepy rural life for adventure in California. Courtney is first to head west, finding marital contentment with Hastings, a countercultural hanger-on she meets at a Grateful Dead concert. With a scholarship for San Jose State, Truely soon follows, connecting with a computer whiz, making an Internet fortune and falling hard for Jesse. Both Noonans seem happily married, until Jesse miscarries and leaves Truely. Then Hastings leaves Courtney for a younger woman because he's "not ready to grow old." Though they both live in the Bay Area, these rootless siblings seldom cross paths, until Arnold, a black teenager, insinuates himself into their lives. Kincaid has been pigeonholed as a Southern writer, but this unsentimental story about the forging of an unorthodox family has universal appeal. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mississippi may just be the setting for the beginning of this novel by the author of As Hot as It Was You Ought To Thank Me, but the Deep Southern sensibility colors the whole story, as it does the life of protagonist Truely Noonan. His vibrant, strong-willed sister Courtney shocks her parents and local convention by fleeing Hinds County for California, where she almost immediately hooks up with the wealthy, distinctly non-Mississippi Hastings, whom she eventually marries. When it comes time for college, Truely follows, going to San Jose and leaving behind his high school sweetheart. His rise to fortune in the technology field doesn't assure a happy life, though, and late in the game he and his sister both find themselves involved with teenage Arnold, a gang boy with legal troubles looking for an attachment. It's a warm, folksy, easy-to-read tale of flawed people trying to find their way. Recommended.
Ann H. Fisher
Playing off its tantalizing title, Kincaid's tale offers a fresh, winning take on basic themes of modern lifeleaving, longing and reconnecting with childhood."People Magazine"
It takes a little nerve for a non-native Mississippian to write a novel with "Mississippi" in the title, but [Kincaid] isn't fazed by stepping onto hallowed literary ground. . . . This novel isn't in the end, so much about Mississippi as it is about our American future, and on that subject it is decidedly and sweetly optimistic."Washington Post"
[T]here's something raffish and whimsical about Kincaid's prose that hooks you good and pulls you in.... [A]ffecting. A-Entertainment Weekly
- Little, Brown and Company
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- Hachette Digital, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Nanci Kincaid is the author of Crossing Blood, Balls, Pretending the Bed Is a Raft (made into the feature film My Life Without Me), Verbena, and As Hot as it Was You Ought to Thank Me. She divides her time between San Jose and Honolulu.
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Save your money, don't buy the book. If you want an author that captures an area and it's nuances read David Guterson. I finished the book only because I bought it otherwise I would have stopped 1/3 of the way into it.
I liked this book but it had a lot of "lose threads" and characters that weren't really necessary. There were story lines that just seemed to trail off into no where. All in all it was a good book.