Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

3.9 29
by Lynda Rutledge
     
 

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On the last day of the millennium, sassy Faith Bass Darling, the richest old lady in Bass, Texas, decides to have a garage sale. With help from a couple of neighborhood boys, Faith lugs her priceless Louis XV elephant clock, countless Tiffany lamps, and everything else in her nineteenth-century mansion out onto her long, sloping lawn.

Why is a recluse of twenty

Overview

On the last day of the millennium, sassy Faith Bass Darling, the richest old lady in Bass, Texas, decides to have a garage sale. With help from a couple of neighborhood boys, Faith lugs her priceless Louis XV elephant clock, countless Tiffany lamps, and everything else in her nineteenth-century mansion out onto her long, sloping lawn.

Why is a recluse of twenty years suddenly selling off her dearest posessions? Because God told her to.

As the townspeople grab up five generations of heirlooms, everyone drawn to the sale—including Faith's long-lost daughter—finds that the antiques not only hold family secrets but also inspire some of life's most important questions: Do our possessions possess us? What are we without our memories? Is there life after death or second chances here on earth? And is Faith really selling that Tiffany lamp for $1?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With a big Texas heart, Lynda Rutledge writes of second chances, redemption, what we truly own, and what we must release in this spectacular novel...Put a sticker on this one, it's a keeper."—New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani

"I loved every page...Treat yourself to this luminous, enchanting story."—New York Times bestselling author Haywood Smith

"A small-town novel that asks big questions about life...A most thought-provoking read."—New York Times bestselling author Tiffany Baker

"Eerie, charming, heartrending, and heartbreaking at the same time, Rutledge's novel is a triumph."—W. P. (Bill) Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe, the basis for the blockbuster movie Field of Dreams

"Oh, my God, this novel is GOOD!! I knew the idea was INSPIRED but I didn't dream what Rutledge could do with words. It knocked my socks off, and that doesn't happen often."—Jenny Winfield, author of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

"Reminiscent of early works of Larry McMurtry and Edward Swift...in her wry and witty voice, Rutledge has given the tale, if not greater power, at least a contemporary twist...Adept at gently mocking the small-mindedness of small towns and celebrating the expansiveness of small-town souls, the author crafts a tale of love, identity, and redemption—not to mention some killer discount shopping."—The Texas Observer

Publishers Weekly
When Faith Bass Darling hears the voice of God telling her to sell all her possessions because she will die that night, the reclusive heiress drags everything onto the lawn for a garage sale. Her sanity is questionable, but her neighbors’ opportunism is not. Local antiques dealer Bobbie Blankenship hears about the goings on and calls Faith’s estranged daughter, Claudia Jean, to alert her to her mother’s strange behavior. Claudia reluctantly returns home and reconnects with deputy sheriff John Jasper Johnson, who tries to help her end the sale and deal with the mother she hasn’t seen in 20 years. Faith reflects on her life and her values, from her troubling marriage to Claude, a violent man who married her for her money, to her falling out with Claudia Jean, and the death of her son, Mike, in an accident that changed John Jasper’s life. Rutledge, a fifth-generation Texan, paints a colorful portrait of a larger than life Texas matron, but her debut offers nothing new on the story’s well-trod themes of Southern racism, old money, and materialism. (May)
Library Journal
It's a shock to everyone in Bass, TX, when wealthy Faith Bass Darling, a recluse for 20 years, throws open her doors and moves her antique furniture to the lawn. She tells Deputy John Jasper Johnson, a friend of her deceased son, that God had revealed to her that she would die on December 31, 1999, and that she should have a garage sale. As she divests herself of family heirlooms, a friend calls Faith's estranged daughter, Claudia. Now, a mother and daughter face the same questions. What is the value of possessions when they alienate family and loved ones? What if our memories and our lives are based on misconceptions? Rutledge's novel asks her characters to rethink everything they believed was true in their lives. VERDICT This solid debut is a fascinating character-driven story of misconceptions, family, and tragedy. Fortunately, Rutledge also alleviates the somber tone with moments of humor. Recommended for those who enjoy Southern fiction as well as book clubs and others who appreciate a story with multiple layers for discussion.—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Under the looming shadow of Y2K, the very proper Faith Bass Darling hauls all of her priceless family possessions onto her front lawn for a very improper yard sale in Rutledge's debut novel. Surprised and delighted to catch sight of the reclusive Faith, neighbors and strangers descend upon the Darlings' lawn to snap up Tiffany lamps and Spode china for quarters. Alarmed less by Faith's evident Alzheimer's than by the shocking loss of capital, Bobbie Ann Blankenship rushes over to save what she can. Now sole proprietor of the Yesteryear Antique Shop, Bobbie plans to keep Faith's possessions safe from unscrupulous buyers until Faith consents to a dignified estate sale, or until Faith's daughter, Claudia, comes home. But first, Bobbie might just take that mysterious elephant clock--the one item Faith does not want to sell. Claudia hasn't been home in 20 years, not since she hid a certain family ring, a ring passed down from her great-great-grandmother Belle, a ring replete with a three-carat diamond surrounded by seed pearls, a ring inscribed Love Eternal, a ring hidden in a desk on the Darlings' lawn. A failed Buddhist, Claudia doesn't want the ring for itself but for the chance it offers to invest in her dream of becoming part-owner of an upscale fitness club. Once home, Claudia must confront her mother's illness, as well as the return of her first love, Deputy John Jasper Johnson. With the help of John Jasper, Bobbie, Father George and Dr. Peabody, Claudia begins to understand her mother, her mother's illness and their relationship. Faith herself confronts the memories of her past as she moves from room to room, object to object. Those memories contain some dark family secrets having to do with the deaths of her husband, Claude Angus Darling, and her son, Mike. This potentially poignant story of misplaced emotional attachments and misremembered pasts falters under its wispy tone.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425261026
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
680,569
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a first novel so much. Eerie, charming, heartrending, and heartbreaking at the same time, Rutledge’s novel is a triumph.” —W. P. (Bill) Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe, the basis for the blockbuster movie Field of Dreams

Meet the Author

Lynda Rutledge, a fifth-generation Texan, has petted baby rhinos, snorkled with endangered turtles, and dodged hurricanes as a freelance journalist, while winning awards for her fiction.

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