Mermaids in the Basement

( 39 )

Overview

Reeling from the loss of her mother, plagued with a bad case of writer's block (and don't even talk about those extra twenty pounds), Renata DeChavannes feels as though everything is just plain wrong. And that was before the tabloids caught her sweetheart, filmmaker Ferg Lauderdale, sharing an intimate squeeze with Hollywood's hottest young tamale.

But the granddaughter of the formidable Honora DeChavannes possesses more hell than belle in her backbone—and she's about to reclaim...

See more details below
This Paperback is Not Available through BN.com
Mermaids in the Basement

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

Overview

Reeling from the loss of her mother, plagued with a bad case of writer's block (and don't even talk about those extra twenty pounds), Renata DeChavannes feels as though everything is just plain wrong. And that was before the tabloids caught her sweetheart, filmmaker Ferg Lauderdale, sharing an intimate squeeze with Hollywood's hottest young tamale.

But the granddaughter of the formidable Honora DeChavannes possesses more hell than belle in her backbone—and she's about to reclaim it. Heading south to Honora's home on the Gulf Coast, Renata is determined to stop feeling like a wilted gardenia and emerge as the unstoppable kudzu her beloved grandmother proudly proclaimed she would be. But for that to happen Renata's got to face some not-so-genteel ghosts from her past, discover the truth about the mother she desperately misses, and make peace with the first man who abandoned her and broke her heart: her handsome and distant father.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ripe with Southern charm and sultry atmosphere, West's diverting and funny latest unravels the tangled gossamer web of an eccentric extended Southern family. At the heart of the novel is Renata DeChavannes, who has a pretty full plate: a tabloid ran a story about her longtime film director boyfriend's possible on-set fling with an actress; her mother and step-father died in a plane crash five months ago; her father is about to marry his fourth wife (a squeaky-voiced young thang named Joie); and she's just found a letter written by her mother instructing her to ferret out her mother's "dirty secrets." So Renata heads to her Gulf Coast Alabama hometown, where her indomitable grandmother Honora DeChavannes; steadfast former nanny Gladys Boudreax; and Honora's longtime friend and former actress, Isabella D'Agostina McGeehee, live. The story flies by, loaded with grand parties, sumptuous Southern meals, multiple affairs and harrowing calamities. West's storytelling talent shines when she's following around the fiery belles, though she has trouble getting convincingly into the head of Renata's father, Louie, and the profusion of subplots can feel overwhelming. On the whole, it's a joyride, if a sometimes bumpy one. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Screenwriter Renata comes from a true Southern family, complete with a formidable grand-dame grandmother. When Renata's actor boyfriend is written up in the tabloids for an alleged affair, she runs away to grandmother's estate in Point Clear, AL. Still mourning her mother's untimely death, Renata is looking for solace and rest. Unfortunately, life gets more dramatic as the days go on. At her father's engagement party, his new fiancée is found unconscious in a pool, and Renata is the prime suspect. She can't seem to contact her boyfriend to get the straight story from him. And she discovers that her parents led secret lives to which she was never privy, until now: Grandmother Honora and pals have decided it's time to let all of the skeletons out of the family closets. West (Crazy Ladies) has a knack for realistic and engaging characters. This charming tale will keep readers wanting to know more about the inhabitants of Point Clear. For all public libraries, particularly where women's fiction is popular. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/15/07.]
—Rebecca Vnuk

Kirkus Reviews
Southern belles hell-bent on belated truth-telling in West's latest wacky outing (Mad Girls in Love, 2005, etc.). After a six-month saltwater-taffy binge on North Carolina's outer banks, Renata, a screenwriter, is shopping for a cashmere sweater to send to her sweetie, Ferg, a director who's on location in Dublin shooting the "remake" of James Joyce's Ulysses. She spots a tabloid depicting Ferg in a pub in the clutches of "man-eating actress" Esme Vasquez, who plays Molly Bloom. After the shopkeeper inflicts an impromptu mullet on Renata, she flees to Alabama, into the sheltering arms of her paternal grandmother, Honora, who's hosting an engagement party for Louie, Renata's daddy. When, after a few too many flutes of champagne, Renata confronts Louie's fiancee, squeaky-voiced Joie, in Honora's attached garage, Joie rips off Renata's pearls. Later, Joie is found comatose in the garden pond, and a few loose pearls in drops of blood on the garage floor point to Renata as the suspect. Still above suspicion is Honora's friend Isabella, a former Hollywood actress who's inserted Lord knows how many valiums in the chocolate-covered strawberries Joie was last seen gorging on. Isabella thinks it's high time someone told Renata about the secrets harbored by her mother, Shelby, who, long divorced from controlling cardiologist Louie, has recently perished in a plane crash with her longtime second husband, a movie producer. Family retainer Gladys, Isabella and Honora alternate revelations. In 1972, Shelby had an affair with studly hairdresser Kip. Shelby's father was accidentally shot while quail hunting with Kip and Louie. After Shelby almost drowned while cavorting with Kip, she and Louie reached aturbulent truce. Isabella's affair with Louie and her compulsion to lace comestibles with pharmaceuticals caused her husband's not-so-accidental death. More brutal unveilings follow, until Renata achieves a rueful understanding of her father's and lover's motives. Few surprises on the road to rapprochement, but the belles's barbed commentary never fails to entertain.
Booklist
“An engaging tale that skips from glitzy romantic Hollywood to Deep South without missing a beat.”
Redbook Magazine
“Deliciously zany novel of Southern discomfort.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616840037
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Lee West is the author of Mad Girls in Love, Crazy Ladies, American Pie, She Flew the Coop, and Consuming Passions. She lives with her husband on a rural farm in Tennessee with three bratty Yorkshire terriers, a Chinese Crested, assorted donkeys, chickens, sheep, and African Pygmy goats. Her faithful dog Zap (above) was the inspiration for a character in the novel.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Carrying twenty extra pounds is enough of a load, but Renata DeChavannes rationalizes that she has earned every pound. Five months ago her mother and stepfather died in a plane crash leaving Renata bereft. Recently the National Examiner ran a feature about her boyfriend award winning movie director Ferguson Lauderdale having an affair with actress Esme Vasquez while filming on location in Ireland Joyce¿s Ulysses. Finally her father Louie informs her that he is marrying again for the nth time with someone younger than her.---------- However, all that goes on the back burner when Renata obtains a message from her late mom insisting she go ¿home¿ to learn her 'dirty secrets.' A chance to escape Hollywood and her current case of writer¿s block, Renata leaves for the Alabama¿s Gulf Coast. There she will do her mom¿s bidding while seeing the steel magnolia make that tungsten magnolia triad of her grandmother Honora DeChavannes, Renata¿s former nanny Gladys Boudreaux and longtime friend former actress Isabella D'Agostina McGeehee.--------------- Although the myriad of subplots needs a scorecard (or perhaps a flow chart) to keep track of, fans will enjoy this amusing slice of southern life. The women including Renata¿s late mother come across as fully developed formidable people while the men especially her boyfriend and her dad seem emaciated in comparison. Still readers will appreciate this humorous but discerning look at you can come home even if a major part of what made it home has passed on.----------------- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Oh how I love Micheal Lee West!

    This is the best book she has written since Crazy Ladies. Mermaids is about a young woman named Renata who sorts through an old trunk that is filled with memoralbia about her parent's troubled marriage. In the process she finds out about herself and reunites with her estranged father. It's just a lot of fun. Write faster your fans are waiting!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    Hade

    I am Hade. I have firey red hair and a pibk tail. So what if it is pink and I am a guy. It is my tail not yours and you know you want it. Anyways I do not like bullies. Hate them. Brother of my lil sis Georgia who has blue hair and tail. Light blue. She is a sweetie. You will have meet me too know me. I have a crush on this beautiful mer named Coral. My power is the ability to shift into any sea form and air form I want even parti shift.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Crap

    THIS IS CRAP!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2014

    This book is by Michael Lee West, so it's got to be good. Mermai

    This book is by Michael Lee West, so it's got to be good. Mermaids is different from Ms. West's cozy mystery series but equally as good. This book delves into family secrets and family skeletons, and I loved the twists and turns, characters, and unique plot. Michael Lee West is now my favorite southern writer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Emily

    Emily walks around the basement, making sure that all the cats were there.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    Screenplay must come next!!

    I have never read Michael Lee West before but based on this book, I will read more of her books. Strange, southern women and the men that live in their lives make this story a page turner. I take this book everywhere I go and reading just 10 minutes when I can, makes my day. As I read it I am envisioning a movie next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2010

    Great smooth read! Southern womens fiction

    i love michael lee wests books! She describes the characters and all the places they come in contact with such clarity you feel like you're there, but she doesn't get so descriptive or poetic that you lose interest. I recomend all of her books! If you enjoy Sandra Kring, you'll enjoy Michael lee West!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2010

    Such a disappointment!

    This book is, very simply, awful. It is a very poor ripoff of the Ya-Yas. I grew up and still live in the south with all of its secrets. The characters are not endearing, but insulting. Do not waste your money or you time!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    Wonderful and highly recommended!!

    Michael Lee West has beautifully written an engaging tale of a young woman's quest to uncover the secrets of her eccentric southern family. It tells the story of Renata DeChavannes, a screenwriter struggling with career problems and the tragic loss of her mother. When a tabloid article suggests her film director boyfriend is having a fling, a heartsick Renata seeks consolation at the Alabama gulf coast home of her grandmother. Her mother's old trunk reveals the full story of her parent's love, marriage and divorce. Unveiling these secrets allows her a deeper understanding of her family, herself and her estranged father. Ms. West's magnificent writing brings the poignant story to life. Her beautiful descriptions delightfully evoke all the charm and culture of the South. The characters are intriguing, endearing and provide many laugh-out-loud moments. I absolutely loved this captivating story and found I could truly relate to these characters in many ways. You simply must read this compelling page-turner!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Keeps one guessing

    Very good story with wonderful Southern setting and characters. A good mystery that keeps twisting and turning, building up to a surprise ending.
    Great book and hoping for more interesting stories from Michael Lee West - hopefully set again in the south.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Loved it!

    This is my first book by Michael Lee West and I loved it! It reminded me a little of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood - which I consider to be high praise!!! Can't wait to read Ms. West's other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Not sure what everyone else read????

    I read this book based on the numerous recommendations from other reviewers. I forced myself to finish this book and was so relieved when I read the last page. This book took me one week to read, with skimming numerous paragraphs and again, was so thankful when it was over.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2008

    Sure!

    Good book - fun to read - lots of plots and subplots. I'm from the South and really enjoyed this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)