Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch

( 26 )

Overview

Welcome to Mimosa Branch, Georgia.
Check your sanity at the door.

Linwood Breedlove Scott's life has officially hit rock bottom. Her husband of thirty years has run off with a stripper. The IRS has taken everything but her coffee table. And her hot flashes are four-alarmers. The only thing that could make being flat-broke and fifty any worse is having to crawl home to her parents' house in Mimosa Branch, ...

See more details below
This Hardcover (Library Binding) is Not Available through BN.com
Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • 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 - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Welcome to Mimosa Branch, Georgia.
Check your sanity at the door.

Linwood Breedlove Scott's life has officially hit rock bottom. Her husband of thirty years has run off with a stripper. The IRS has taken everything but her coffee table. And her hot flashes are four-alarmers. The only thing that could make being flat-broke and fifty any worse is having to crawl home to her parents' house in Mimosa Branch, Georgia...which is exactly where she's headed.

Lin's barely prepared for the loony bin that greets her, from her controlling, eighty-year-old mother and shockingly blunt father to her long-suffering Aunt Glory and her deranged Uncle Bedford who is convinced a cannibal lives under the furniture. Nor is she ready for the instant love-hate attraction she feels for her handsome new next-door neighbor. Trying to navigate her way through the second act of her life with nothing more than a prepaid calling card, a broken heart, and plenty of Prozac, Lin's about to discover that it's never too late for old friends, new romance, the ties of family, and a second chance to survive it all on the road to becoming the person you were always meant to be...

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Adriana Trigiani
Haywood Smith has created an original character with pathos and pluck,a real woman with heart.
Jill Conner Browne
Here's a heroine you'll root for and a wonderful book you'll want to talk about!
Sandra Dallas
Girl power at its best.
Deborah Smith
Don't miss this fabulous feel-good book. It's laugh-aloud funny,outrageous,deeply touching,but most of all,wonderfully uplifting.
Lynne Hinton
Come and sit for a spell,laugh a bit,feel good again,and be delighted! Welcome to Mimosa Branch!
Publishers Weekly
"The only degree I have is a Ph.D. in Southern Bitch," proclaims Linwood Breedlove Scott, the feisty Prozac-popping, menopausal heroine of Smith's hardcover debut. When her husband drains their bank account and leaves her for a stripper, Lin retreats to her hometown of Mimosa Branch, Ga., to lick her wounds. Facing her conservative, gossipy Southern town as a newly divorced woman is no easy task, however, especially when her best friend lives miles away, her house has become a menagerie haunted by her Alzheimer's-stricken Uncle Bedford, and her boss at the drugstore is an uptight Northerner, Grant Owens, whom she finds disturbingly attractive. Determined to leave her meek hausfrau self behind and start taking charge of her life, she plots to seduce Grant and joins forces with an ex-con preacher with the proverbial heart of gold to oust the corrupt mayor from office. The story covers familiar territory, but Lin's efforts to make a home for herself in a now-unfamiliar town, to reconnect with her old friends and mend rifts with her family are well-observed and bittersweet. Snapshots of Southern living will charm the hardest-hearted Yankee; the purple bathtub full of pink begonias on Lin's mother's porch is irresistible. The inspirational tone becomes rather cloying as the happy-ever-after ending approaches, but strong characters and Smith's irrepressible wit anchor the fluff. Featured alternate selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody and BOMC; regional author tour. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Left in a situation right out a bad country-and-western song (her husband has run off with a stripper), Linwood Breedlove Scott heads back her hometown of Mimosa Branch, GA, to create a new life. Lin finds her parents as crazy as they were when she married 30 years ago, and the small town outside of Atlanta is ripe with corruption. After a slow start, the novel seems to lurch from romance to parody to pop psychology to Southern belle humor, though the language at times sends some for smelling salts. There are funny moments, and Holiness preacher and mayoral candidate Donnie West is a great character. But humor is a matter of delicate balance, and Lin's Uncle Bedford falls flat; Alzheimer's is too horrible for many to inspire chuckles. Also tiring is the frequent male bashing. Smith has written six successful historical romance novels and should perhaps stay with the genre she's mastered. With reduced public library budgets in many states and an abundance of excellent Southern belle novels, this one can be ignored.-Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fifty-year-old divorcée starts over, in a lackluster first hardcover from Smith. Lucky for Linwood Scott that her parents have plenty of room in their decaying Victorian house. She has no money, no degree, no technical skills, no work experience, and crumbling knees. What is she going to do now that her good-for-nothing husband has run away with a stripper and left her penniless? She never thought she’d have to slink back to Mimosa Branch, Georgia, and throw herself on the mercy of her eccentric family. And sitting around on the verandah isn’t as much fun as it used to be, what with her senile uncle skipping around clad only in adult diapers (much of the humor here has to do with incontinence and vaginal dryness). And her hometown isn’t the same now that the old autoshop has morphed into a trendy café and her friend Cassie has come out as a lesbian and creator of large, alarming sculptures of toothed vaginas. Lin’s job interview at the temp agency is a predictable disaster, since she can’t type or use a computer. Maybe she can clerk at the general store, now owned by Grant Owens, who might even become her new beau, given a little encouragement. But after buying naughty lingerie for what she hopes will be a steamy sex romp with Grant, Lin dissolves into a nervous giggling fit that wilts her would-be lover’s manhood. Then Lin’s outraged when Grant adds up the cost of their enchanted evening and calls her a tease. A grave insult, apparently, to this doughy southern belle. Finally, the truth hits her "like a pickup sending a possum to glory on I-85": Grant Owens is just like her philandering ex--a charming, self-absorbed, arrested adolescent. What to do? Cry some more, and keep on whining.
From the Publisher

"Haywood Smith paints a portrait of lasting relationships between family and lifeling friends in the small-town South. Her colorful cast of characters is unforgettable."
-- Southern Living

"A veritable goldmine of Southern homespun homilies and hospitality, where the Ya-Ya sisterhood would feel right at home."
-- Booklist

"Snapshots of Southern living will charm even the hardest-hearted Yankee."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Hilariously on the mark...the perfect combination of wit and touching sentiment...[A] one-of-a-kind feel-good read."
-- Romantic Times

A "hilarious slice of life." -- Midwest Book Review

Southern Living

"...Smith paints a portrait of lasting relationships between family and lifelong friends in the small-town South. Her...cast...is unforgettable."
Booklist

"A veritable goldmine of Southern homespun homilies and hospitality, where the Ya-Ya sisterhood would feel right at home."
Romantic Times

"Hilariously on the mark...the perfect combination of wit and touching sentiment...[A] one-of-a-kind feel-good read."
Midwest Book Review

A "hilarious slice of life."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574905045
  • Publisher: Beeler, Thomas T. Publisher
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Large Print Ser.
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Haywood Smith

Atlanta native Haywood Smith lives on the shores of Lake Lanier, near the small town of Buford, Georgia. She has one son, currently in medical school, who is married to a "wonderful, fearless Christian woman," and a close family that includes her mother, three sisters, and a brother. Inspired by her own observations of Southern life and family, she created this funny, joyous tribute to one woman's triumph over adversity. Watch for Haywood's next book, The Red Hat Club, the story of five Atlanta women whose warm, witty friendship keeps them together and sane through high school in the sixties, college, the evolution of the New South, marriage, children, corporate wifedom, the garden club, death, kiddie sports, affairs, menopause, financial ruin, rehab, facelifts, divorce, and the Junior League.

Biography

Atlanta native Haywood Smith currently lives in Massachusetts. She has one son, currently in medical school who is "married to a wonderful, fearless Christian woman," and a close family that includes her mother, three sisters, and a brother.

The Red Hat Club was on the New York Times Bestseller List. The paperback edition of Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch appeared on both the USA Today list and the New York Times Extended Bestseller List.

Author biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Smith:

"God already knows I wrote what I wrote, so I figured I might as well put my real name on my books. My Mama had to get used to the love scenes in my historical romances -- especially when I used bondage as a metaphor in the first one (very polite, consensual bondage; well, most of it)."

"I believe in taking lemons and making lemonade when life gets cruel. I've had joint problems since childhood, so I can only run if my life depends on it, but I now have a job I can do in a recliner. How great is that?"

"I haven't had plastic surgery, but I'm saving up to get lipo on my saddlebag hips and the tummy my sisters and I all have dubbed, ‘the baby.' I also believe that every woman out there should start putting money in a sugar bowl to ‘get the plumbing jerked' once she's finished having her kids. Life without periods is the best!"

"I am happier now without a significant man in my life than I was with one. Not that I'm down on men altogether. I just like my perfect girlie room, my white carpets, keeping my own hours and weird diets, and not having to worry about hiding my bite guard, surgical scars, white roots, and buzz saw snoring. Not to mention having the freedom to pass gas at will without criticism."

"I love hearing from readers who enjoyed my books. Such kind words make my day. I do not love hearing from people who can't handle the realistic nature or language in my work. Everything in my work is there for a reason. If a character cusses, she's been provoked (and it beats busting loose with an Uzi at the nineteenth hole of her ex's country club). If she takes the Lord's name in vain (like my fictional SuSu character) it's because she's subconsciously crying out to the God she's rejected."

"Mainly, I want the women in my books to accurately reflect the complexities, the heartache, and the humor that is our saving grace."

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Anne Haywood Pritchett
    2. Hometown:
      Buford, Georgia
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 21, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Atlanta, Georgia
    1. Education:
      One year of college and several professional real estate degrees and appraisal certifications
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch


By HAYWOOD SMITH

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2002 Haywood Smith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0312300565


Chapter One

I took the long way home that fateful midsummer day last July, maybe because I still couldn't quite believe what I was about to do.

I could still hear Miss Mamie-that's my mother; everybody calls her Miss Mamie, including my brother and me-telling me, on the eve of my wedding, that if I insisted on marrying Phil at nineteen, I shouldn't even think of turning up on her doorstep again. "You make your bed, you lie in it," she'd said with absolute conviction. (Miss Mamie says everything with absolute conviction.)

Yet here I was thirty years later, galled to my very soul that my family's dire predictions for my marriage had finally proven true. The phantom umbilicus that connected me to my mother had turned out to be a cosmic bungee cord, my fifty years of life one long, ludicrous leap that was rebounding at light-speed back to the womb, God help me.

So that Thursday, the day after the Fourth of July, I took the slow, scenic route through Mimosa Branch. Driving into the old business district, I was struck that my hometown seemed to have come up in the world at least as far as I had come down. Everything was fixed up, filled up, and decidedly suburban upscale, right down to the contemporary artists' warren in one of the old mill buildings.

Miss Mamie hadtold me all about the artists in her almost-daily phone updates. An equal-opportunity gossip, she belonged not only to the United Methodist Women, but also to the Baptist Women's Circle, so she got the scoop. She'd assured me the good ladies were doing their best to love these "offbeat transplants" in a Christian way, just as they tried to love "those Mexicans" who had flooded into the area and "snapped up" all the jobs at the poultry plant. But as to the artists, the good churchwomen of Mimosa Branch-Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and even the Pentecostals-had been united at last by their common alarm about the New Age influence the interlopers had introduced to their conservative community. Worse still, several of the odd characters were from California, a point of origin surpassing even Florida in its capacity for alienating the locals.

I knew my mother would fill me in on all their subversive activities. Endlessly. Incessantly. In person.

Shuddering at the thought, I tried to concentrate on the brick storefronts that flanked Main Street. Gone were the FOR RENT signs and sad neglect. Like kudzu, Atlanta's suburban tentacles had invaded my hometown and cloaked it in green-the spending kind. And like kudzu, the blanket of green had certainly made things look better, at least on the surface. Whether it was really an improvement, though, remained to be seen. The decay was still there under kudzu; you just couldn't see it.

Yep. Things had definitely changed. I passed the nude painting Miss Mamie had told me "blared right out on Main Street." Galleries now replaced all but a single law office of the dozen that once practiced here. I'd always wondered how so many lawyers could stay in business in a town of 3000 that wasn't a county seat. Apparently, they couldn't. But then again, this was no longer a sleepy little town of 3000.

Even the people on the sidewalks looked different. Where were the fat women? Mimosa Branch had always had the state's highest per capita ratio of fat women. I wondered if one of those California artists had gotten the city to enact that same secret ordinance they had in Beverly Hills and Brentwood, banning fat people from coming out in public.

My thirty extra pounds smarted in outrage.

The one comforting presence downtown was Chief Parker's Drugs, which had defiantly held onto its ugly aluminum awning and faded fifties' commercial tackiness through three owners and the insurgence of trendy bistros, boutiques, and galleries. "NEVER CLOSED TO THE SICK" was still painted on the front windows above the store's number and old Doc Owens's home phone. The place stuck out like a sore thumb among its trendy new neighbors.

Mimosa Branch, trendy. I still couldn't believe it. Seeing the tastefully quaint renovations in subdued merchants'-association-approved coordinated colors, I felt like I was looking at a movie set.

How long had it been since I'd come here last? I thought back. Not since the year I'd dragged Miss Mamie on that cultural exchange to France ... '91. Cripes. Ten years. I was moving back to a place I hadn't even seen in a decade. Heaven only knew what things were like here now.

Everything changes, I told myself. Maybe if I got lucky, life at home would be different, too. Better, I hastily qualified.

Not that it was that bad growing up. How can I put it diplomatically? Life at 1431 Green Street had been just a bit too ... colorful for my tastes.

I eased my car into the turn where Main Street became Green Street at the second dogleg, just past the most recent and ostentatious of the Breedlove mansions, now resurrected to its turn-of-the-century Italianate glory as a posh bed-and-breakfast. Miss Mamie had told me all about it, of course, but seeing the restored grounds and tastefully sandblasted sign, I felt an inexplicable sense of loss. The place seemed to wear its newfound prosperity uneasily, like a mechanic in a three-piece Brooks Brothers suit.

A bed-and-breakfast in a town that had always been a "meat and three" kind of place. Go figure.

Two more blocks of Green Street to home, railroad on the left now, houses on the right.

Bracing for a bump that didn't happen, I realized the city had finally done away with the abandoned sidetracks leading to the old mill. Farther down, the old Watkins place gleamed afresh with vinyl siding and dark green shutters. Law Office. Maybe they hadn't all gone away, just moved to larger quarters.

Beyond that, somebody was redoing Mrs. Duckett's fanciful Victorian from the studs out, complete with a copper cupola, scalloped shingles in the gables, suitably gaudy Chinese red paint on the gingerbread, and a real slate roof. Must have set them back at least a mil.

And across the next side street, 1431 Green Street loomed, the one thing in town besides Chief Parker's Drugs that still looked the same as it always had.

Home.

On its own, my foot eased back on the gas.

Bounded by shoulder-high camellia hedges that, like the rest of our home place, had seen better days, the sturdy old white Victorian sat firmly anchored by eighty feet of verandah-"Miss Mamie's Porch" to one and all in Mimosa Branch. Nothing fanciful about our house; it was massive, angular, and quintessentially functional. And as usual, it needed painting. Old Southern houses peel worse than Scandinavians at Miami Beach, so ownership conveys a constant cycle of scrape and paint, and I do mean constant. At least it gave my underemployed brother, Tommy, something useful to do.

As I neared the driveway, my car slowed to a crawl all by itself. I still could not accept that I was really doing this, so I distracted myself by focusing on the familiar landmarks. The same massive elm stumps rotted between the road and the cracked, uneven sidewalk. The same garden-club flower beds bloomed with marigolds and cockscomb by the railroad tracks across the street.

I reached the opening in our camellia hedge and squeezed my car past the historical marker onto the circular gravel driveway. My eyes scanned past the bronze letters: ALLEN BREEDLOVE MANSION, 1897. THE SECOND RESIDENCE OF ALLEN BREEDLOVE, FOUNDER OF MIMOSA BRANCH AND BREEDLOVE TEXTILES.... I used to take pride in reading my family's illustrious history, but ever since Granny Beth had spilled the beans about what a pompous son-of-a-bitch my great-grandfather had really been, the words rang false.

Up ahead, the house's wide, shallow steps and porch boards shone the same blue-gray against the white of the latticed foundation. The same sweet autumn clematis twined through the porch rails. And the same damned purple bathtub full of pink begonias reclined on its gilded ball-and-claw feet beside the front door, like a rich old socialite laid out on a swooning couch in her underwear. Miss Mamie had affixed 1431 to the side in big brass numbers, which only drew more attention to the embarrassing eyesore. Clearly, she'd given up even trying to find somebody to haul the thing away. How white-trash was that?

My foot hit the brake as if my body was telling me, "It's not too late! Get away! Run!"

The trouble was, I had no place else to run. The only people who would take me in lived inside those walls. And every last one of them was crazy to some degree.

Unlike me, of course. I was damaged, but normal. At least, that was the conviction I clung to.

I forced myself to drive the last few yards to the wide spot in the gravel where the porch steps came down to the edge of the driveway. There I stopped. Like it or not, I had arrived. A dull throb of pain bloomed in my right eye and deepened slightly with every heartbeat.

Oh, God. I was really doing this, moving back home at fifty. The very thing I'd spent the past five years criticizing my brother for doing.

Judge not that ye be not judged, in spades.

But unlike Tommy, I had no intention of staying. I'd only be here until I got back on my feet. I'd be back out from under Miss Mamie's roof as soon as I made enough money to redo the garage apartment. Beyond that, who knew, but I had great hopes. I had to.

I'd escaped once; I could do it again. I'd be fine.

Right, the cynical new voice who lived inside me said. You're fifty. No money. No degree. No technical skills. No real job experience. Knees too rotten to wait tables or work as a checkout clerk. Sure, you'll be fine.

My spiral into self-pity was cut short when Uncle Bedford lurched out the front door in nothing but Depends, carrying a mahogany TV tray loaded with his shoes. (I recognized the white patent slip-ons.) His stocky, little hyper-blond self had wasted away to almost nothing, but he descended the steps with surprising speed and agility.

I watched in morbid fascination. Hearing Miss Mamie's reports about his mental deterioration was one thing, but seeing him this way was quite another. Now I understood why Aunt Gloria had moved the two of them in with my parents six months ago. Who could cope with this alone?

"Don't try to deny it!" he hollered to nobody in particular.

Stupidly, I raised my hand and waved as he detoured around the front of my car, leaving a cordovan loafer on the hood. "Hey, Uncle Bedford." Since he'd been a well-respected podiatrist for more than forty years, the shoes seemed vaguely appropriate to me, which is pretty damned scary in retrospect, I can tell you.

Heedless of the gravel on his bare feet, Uncle Bedford stomped toward the late-blooming azaleas that separated the circular driveway from the front lawn.

Better stay out of Miss Mamie's pet azaleas, Uncle Bedford, or you'll really be in hot water. For reasons unknown to God or man, those gumpos had been flowering in midsummer ever since my mother had planted them back in '73. They'd become her local claim to fame.

"That boy took my shoes, that gay guy," my uncle ranted. "He takes everything."

Miss Mamie's updates had informed me that Poor Aunt Gloria had become "that gay guy" to Uncle Bedford, just as she had become Poor Aunt Gloria to the rest of the family when Uncle Bedford had finally quit drinking three years ago and promptly gone into the permanent D.T.'s.

Poor Aunt Gloria, indeed. At least I was moving back to the bosom of my own family. She'd been forced to live at the sufferance of in-laws.

Speak of the devil, here Aunt Glory came out the front door, round, fierce, and firmly packed as ever, holding out one of the sheets Uncle Bedford used for keeping "the Japanese" off the furniture. Hobbling down the stairs on her arthritic knees, she said through her tiny teeth, "Don't you dare get out of that car, Lin. I'll take care of your uncle. He's my husband, so it's my shame to bear."

She caught up with him beside the Rose of Sharon that was in glorious fuchsia bloom. "Jackson Bedford Breedlove the Fourth." Owing to his deafness, she shouted loud enough to be heard a block away. "Cover up and come back to the house this instant before somebody from church sees you!"

Her husband hallucinated Japanese, thought she was a gay guy, and was running around in Depends with a TV tray full of shoes, and she was worried what somebody from church would think? Uncle Bedford wasn't the only crazy person in this scenario. Obviously, living with him had made Aunt Glory as loony as he was.

Never one to back down, Aunt Gloria held the sheet like a matador's cape and did her best to corral her husband. Uncle Bedford evaded her first few swoops, but he soon got enough of it and counterattacked with a powerful swing of the TV tray. Shoes went flying. Fortunately, Aunt Gloria managed to jump out of the way, because the tray made an ominous whooshing noise as it whizzed past her.

Damn, he was strong. I had read somewhere that when they were psychotic, even fragile old geezers like Uncle Bedford were strong as prizefighters on PCP, and now I believed it.

My conscience told me it was time to get out of the car and try to rescue my aunt from her husband, but not before I punched 911 into my cell phone and poised my finger over the send button. I opened the car door and stepped into humid, oppressive air that smelled of granite dust, fresh-cut grass, magnolia blooms, and honeysuckle.

My mother chose just that moment to emerge from the house in full dudgeon, broom in hand, still a force of nature despite her eighty years. "Good Lord, Bedford," she fumed, "if you weren't the General's baby brother and sole survivin' family, I'd shoot you dead on the spot. Now get back in the house. Poor Lin's gonna think this place is an insane asylum!"

"Poor Lin" knew it was an insane asylum and so did my mother, but my only thought was a desperate, Dear God, please don't let me be Poor Lin from now on! I couldn't stand it. Anything but that.

After a perfunctory, "Sorry, baby," to me, Miss Mamie bustled over and laid a firm hold onto Aunt Gloria's elbow. "Go back inside, Glory," she said with exaggerated diction, a manner of speaking reserved for embarrassing situations. The more embarrassing the situation, the more precise and gravid her speech. "You only make it worse when he's this way. Leave him to Lin and me."

I took another look at the heft of that TV tray and the brittle spark in Uncle Bedford's eyes and voted for 911, but I kept my mouth shut because I knew the mere mention of calling in strangers would send these women into a rage, or hysterics, or both.

Aunt Gloria, unwilling as ever to leave the field of dishonor without a clear victory, shot yet another anxious look up and down the empty pavement of Green Street. Then she deflated. "All right." She handed over the sheet, suddenly looking every bit of her worried, worn-out seventy-six years. "But at least try to keep him behind the azaleas where nobody can see him. I won't be able to lift my head in this town if anybody from church should drive by."

"They won't, sugar," my mother reassured her in her normal voice. "This time of day, they're all home napping or watching All My Children. You know that."

"Lord, I hope so." Aunt Glory glared at Uncle Bedford, which was all it took to set him off again.

He jabbed the TV tray in his beleaguered wife's direction. "That boy took my shoes! I want 'em back! These new ones hurt my feet!"

"Bedford," Aunt Gloria hollered, "look at your feet. You're not even wearing any shoes."

This was going to be my life: Aunt Gloria trying to use logic with Uncle Bedford in the midst of a psychotic break, and Miss Mamie thinking she can fix everything with confidence and a broom.

I'd married at nineteen to get away from crap like this!

The pain in my right eye bloomed to ice-pick intensity, stabbing through the back of my skull. I winced like Popeye.

Miss Mamie prodded Aunt Gloria toward the house. "He'll do better when you're out of sight, honey," she assured in her embarrassing-situation voice. "So hurry on outta here, before somebody from church really does come by."

Patting her sparse permanent wave, Aunt Gloria turned her silk-clad back on her husband with military precision, then marched her Talbot's flats toward the porte cochere. Uncle Bedford watched with a canny gleam of triumph. "Hah!"

Miss Mamie handed me the sheet. "Keep this ready, sugar. Let's just give him a little time to settle down."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by HAYWOOD SMITH Copyright © 2002 by Haywood Smith
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. When Linwood Scott's life falls apart, she has nowhere to turn but her family. Do you think she had any other choice? In the same circumstances, would you return to your family?

2. How does Linwood's attitude toward self-sufficiency change throughout the course of the novel?

3. Female friendships are crucial to the healing of Linwood Scott. In what ways were her friends instrumental in helping her through her trials and tribulations?

4. Would you characterize Miss Mamie as a strong woman? A controlled woman? A controlling woman? In what ways is her relationship with men similar of different from Linwood's?

5. What was the turning point of Linwood's relationship with her brother?

6. How did you feel the author portrayed the issues of Alzheimer's and senility?

7. Were you satisfied with the way things turned out between Linwood and Grant? Why or why not?

8. Where could you imagine Linwood's life heading after the novel closes?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    fun read!

    Haywood Smith is one of those authors that you like to come back too and that's just what I did. This is not a new book but is well worth checking out if you have not read anything by Haywood Smith.

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

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Darkness territort

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Gale

    What do you think of it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 5, 2007

    So funny....

    I had a great time with this book, couldn't put it down and it made me laugh so much.... Liked the sayings there like: 'Where the mind goes the body follows...' Really good.

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

    Posted March 19, 2005

    Totally Addictive

    From the first page, I was totally captivated with the characters and read this book in three sittings. I hated to put it down. The characters are strong and comfortable, they were familiar and wonderful. Queen Bee Of Mimosa Branch shows that yes you can go home again. This book is a wonderful, funny, warm & fuzzy book that allows you to curl up in your easy chair and escape into a nice, safe world of southern genteel society. Queen Bee Of Mimosa Branch has left me hungry for more. Let's hope Ms. Smith writes a sequel to this book.

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

    Posted November 10, 2004

    Hilarious!

    What a hoot! This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I either know or am personally related to EVERY character in this book, AND being from the South made it all the more real and funny. My whole family has read it, and we have laughed together. It's one of those you'll like to read along with a close girlfriend or sister so you can hoot, holler, cry & celebrate with the main character! It's also very real and touching - Lin has a lot to teach us! And when you get frustrated, just say the triple mantra of your choice (mine is Sh--,Sh--,Sh--!!)ha-HA!

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

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Boring

    I was disappointed with this book. Maybe I couldn't relate since I haven't been through divorce or middle age, but I thought it was full of shallow dialogue and cliches.

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

    Posted March 11, 2004

    Hysterical!

    Strong, funny book that shows life is full of wonderful surprises. Beautifully written characters, absolutely loved all the relationships between the characters, and shows that you can go home again. Rich background that just comes to life. Had plenty of chuckles reading this one as well as 'The Red Hat Club'. Wonderful for a lazy day in the sun. Couldn't put it down!

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

    Posted November 20, 2003

    Welcome home to small town USA!

    This was a delightfully funny book with homespun wit that had me laughing out loud. Haywood Smith puts the characters in your face with all the charm and grace of a firey southern woman.

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

    Posted November 4, 2003

    Women this book is so much Fun!

    I can not believe there are no reviews yet for this book! This is a great southern women book. The characters are hilarious and the story but funny and heart breakingly sweet. Runaway husbands, crazy relatives, best friends and new flames. That is a good combination and it reads wonderfully in this entertaining story. Can't wait to read Red Hat Club. Way to go Ms. Smith

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

    Posted November 1, 2003

    Great Book!

    It was a wonderful blend of humor, small town quirks and the joy of family. I enjoyed this book, it made me laugh, and touched my heart.

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

    Posted December 15, 2003

    Great book

    I really enjoyed the bit of romance in the book that, in the beginning, made you want for more but then stopped short just at the right time. I love stories set in the south and this goes down as one of my favorites. Will turn others on to this one.

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

    Posted July 10, 2003

    A fun and entertaining read, perfect beach book!

    A enjoyable breath of fresh air! Loved the little twists and turns, is there anything more satisfying than a book about a good southeren woman? But really a great book would recommend and will now buy for my older, single friends, for inspiration!

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

    Posted January 4, 2003

    What a delightful book!

    I love reading southern fiction and found this to be a wonderful slice of life. I laughed and I cheered for Linwood.I am a realtor and remember that feeling of anticipation waiting for the test results. I measure a book by how much I hate to finish it, this was one I did not want to end. Mimosa Branch represents all that I love about the South. Thanks for the pleasure of this great story!

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

    Posted January 11, 2003

    A Wonderful Read

    Being a 24 year old woman, who has never been married, never had children, and who has just left home with no thought of turning, I would probably say I am the perfect example of a reader that has nothing in common with the Lin, the main character, yet still felt wonderfully connected to her. I loved this book! I got it as a present for Christmas and read it, thinking that I wouldn't like it (having not picked it out myself). I was deeply mistaken. Buy, Buy, Buy this book. You'll be reading it at 3am with no plans to stop! Trust me!! It's wonderful!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    hilarious slice of life

    At nineteen, she married Phil to flee her controlling mother who told her never to come back. Now turning fifty, Linwood Breedlove Scott is an ex wife as Phil deserted her for a stripper taking their life savings with him. With no place to go, Lin returns to the family home in Mimosa Branch, Georgia. Her first sight as she parks near the house is seeing her Alzheimer¿s victimized Uncle Bedford running outside wearing only Depends. That might be tough to deal with, but Lin loves her uncle and will help care for him. Her mother Miss Mamie with her ¿I told you so¿ will be more difficult to contend with. However, Lin refuses to bury herself in pity or even in a proper southern woman¿s cocoon as defined by Miss Mamie. Instead Lin obtains a job at the drugstore and finds herself attracted to her boss Grant Owens. His butt is so tight, pennies could not fall out, but the new Lin decides to loosen his change as she begins the seduction of Grant. The QUEEN BEE OF MIMOSA BRANCH is a witty look at a woman struggling to find herself though she is middle age. The tale works best when Lin provides amusing acerbic asides to the reader that focus on what she wants, which is often opposite of what she does. Thought the tale turns into a warm buttercup near the end, fans of small town Southern living seen filtered through the eyes of a former practitioner will gain plenty of delectation from Haywood Smith's hilarious slice of life. Harriet Klausner

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

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Books get NO BETTER than this!

    After thirty years of marriage Linwood Scott's husband ran off with a stripper. With no money and a broken heart, Lin was forced to return to the home of her eccentric parents near Atlanta, Georgia. She knew things would be crazy when she pulled up to the house and witnessed Uncle Bedford stride out the front door in nothing but Depends, carrying a TV tray with his shoes on it, yelling accusations at the empty air about a boy stealing his shoes. ***** This gives readers the PERFECT example of how hilarious this novel was for me to read! The book is overflowing with such unforgettable characters, quotes (from long deceased people), and a few serious messages. This is the type of book that begins when the main character has hit rock bottom and readers cheer them on as they pull themselves up and become even better than before! I cannot recommend it highly enough and will never let this book go! ***** REVIEWER: Detra Fitch.

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

    Posted September 29, 2002

    Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch: A Novel

    It's hard to find a book these days that immediately pulls me into a living, breathing story that's ripe with humor and reality, but this book did. From page one, I couldn't put it down. I knew this town, this woman, these local characters. The author does a wonderful job of mixing humor with pathos as Lin finally wakes up to reality after thirty years of genteel repression. When she breaks out of her perfect housewife mold, it's hilarious. I loved her perfectly scandalous language and wary foray into the sexual revolution. And I loved that she was true to herself in the end. When I read how some librarian from Vermont panned this book, I had to put in my two cents' worth to set the record straight. No book is for everybody, and people who use smelling salts probably wouldn't be able to handle the frank, rowdy tone of this book. But for the rest of us women who can take reality and love a laugh, don't miss Queen Bee. And tell all your friends whose husbands (or exes) have pulled a Bill Clinton to do themselves a favor and buy it, too.

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

    Posted September 28, 2002

    Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch: A Novel

    This book was great fun and truly touching. When I spend my precious time and money on fiction. I want to read something that makes me laugh a lot, cry a little, and feel better for having made the investment. Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch was wonderful! It kept me thoroughly entertained while touching on some tough issues with humor and optimism. I love the way the character of Lin Scott reinvents her life with dogged optimism despite the tough spot she's in. She comes to terms with her past, her family, and her future. Trust me: if you liked The Sweet Potato Queens, you'll love this one. If you prefer your fiction depressing, unresolved, and full of angst, look elsewhere. Queen Bee is a satisfying Southern romp. I couldn't put it down.

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

    Posted April 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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