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Tied to the Tracks
     

Tied to the Tracks

4.0 5
by Rosina Lippi
 

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Angie Mangiamele runs a film company in Hoboken, New Jersey-a long way (in more ways than one) from Ogilvie, Georgia. But a new project has brought her to this small Southern town, where she stands out like a fire truck in a flower garden.

She's been invited to Ogilvie by Miss Zula Bragg, the intensely private literary legend who's agreed to appear in a documentary

Overview

Angie Mangiamele runs a film company in Hoboken, New Jersey-a long way (in more ways than one) from Ogilvie, Georgia. But a new project has brought her to this small Southern town, where she stands out like a fire truck in a flower garden.

She's been invited to Ogilvie by Miss Zula Bragg, the intensely private literary legend who's agreed to appear in a documentary made by Angie's highly unconventional crew. And there's someone else in own Angie looks forward to seeing: John Grant, a descendant of Ogilvie's founders with whom she had a long-ago summer romance. But John's wedding-to the daughter of a prominent local family-is just days away, and promises to be the sleepy town's social event of the year.

What could possibly go right?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite earnest attempts to tweak modern romance cliches, historical novelist Lippi (1999 Pen/Hemingway winner for Homestead) falls victim to the predictable plotting of contemporary chick lit in her first present-day excursion, a story of love in a small Southern town. When a struggling New Jersey film company, Tied to the Tracks, gets invited to Ogilvie, Ga., to make a documentary about renowned writer-in-residence Zula Bragg, Tied to the Tracks' owner, Angie Mangiamele, is thrilled to get the work-but not so thrilled to see old flame John Grant, chair of Ogilvie College's English department. John is brilliant, handsome, well-connected and about to marry Caroline Rose, youngest daughter of a prominent local family. Angie and John, under the gaze of prying Ogilvie eyes, try, and fail, to convince themselves there is nothing left between them. The more interesting story of Zula's secret past plays second fiddle to the ho-hum reunion of the star-crossed lovers. Several amusing secondary characters, including Angie's wisecracking business partners and the oh-so-Southern Ogilvie denizens, add to the story's charm, but the novel makes no real emotional demands. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When documentary filmmaker Angelina Mangiamele's production company, Tied to the Tracks, is contacted by Ogilvie College in Georgia to produce a movie about prominent faculty member and literary celebrity Zula Bragg, she jumps at the chance even though her ex-lover, John Grant, has recently accepted a position as chair of the college's English department. Angie's arrival in Ogilvie sets in motion a series of events that affect the lives of the townspeople, each of whom including the secretive Zula has something to hide. As Angie and John slowly come to terms with their shared past, John finds his relationship with his fianc e, a fellow faculty member, falling apart. Lippi's (Homestead) Ogilvie is a quirky and picturesque Deep South town populated by characters both believable and outlandish. The writing is solid and the pace pleasantly leisurely, though the abrupt ending is a bit unsatisfying. Readers accustomed to Lippi's faster-paced historical fiction, written under the pseudonym Sara Donati, may be disappointed by this mannered slice of college-town life. Recommended for most fiction collections. Nanette Wargo Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Bohemian Hoboken comes to buttoned-up Georgia in a smarter-than-average, second-time-around romance. They were clearly made for each other, but gorgeous, fashion-challenged Italian-American filmmaker Angie Mangiamele and "elegant and beautiful and strong" John Grant, academic scion of a significant Southern family, blew their first shot at a relationship in New York five years before this story opens. Lippi (Homestead, 1999) never explains precisely why, but it had something to do with Angie dying her hair blue before meeting John's grandfather. They're reunited here by a fairy godmother in the form of Miss Zula Bragg, an elderly black writer and creative-writing teacher at Ogilvie College, where John now works. Miss Zula never fully divulges her reasons for picking Angie's film company, Tied to the Tracks, to make a college-sponsored documentary about her, but the crew arrives in Georgia only days before John's wedding to Caroline Rose, predictably upsetting all plans. Small-town gossips, busybodies, family loyalties and traditions supply Lippi's sharp eye and dry wit with an abundance of material. Her touch is determinedly light, with only occasional references to less cozy issues like segregation and miscegenation that lurk beneath the largely benign Southern surface. Strongly cinematic and keen to compensate with charm for what it lacks in pace and plot, the novel is essentially an intelligent romp. The author pads the on-again/off-again love story with scenes of anger and sex while everyone waits for Caroline to break off the engagement. Lippi delays this until the very last minute, well after the book has run out of steam, while keeping her underlying themes of truth and deceptiontoo heavily tamped down. Bright and entertaining, but ephemeral.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425215326
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/03/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Rosina Lippi, a former linguistics professor, is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning literary novel Homestead, which won the 1999 PEN/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the 2001 Orange Prize. The New York Times Book Review called it "[A] novel of great depth, compassion, and tenderness." Under the name of Sara Donati, she has written the highly praised and commercially successful historical fiction series Into the Wilderness.

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Tied to the Tracks 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At Ogilvie College, Georgia award winning author Miss Zula Bragg agrees to cooperate with a documentary about her life with the stipulation being that only financially troubled New Jersey based firm Tied to the Tracks make the film. Miss Zula explains that this small firm has the hunger to do it right not just sensationalize it. ------------------------ Owner, writer and producer Angie Mangiamele has mixed feelings about the project that would provide a boost for her fledgling company as she knows that her former lover John Grant chairs the Ogilvie English Department. Still accompanied by her team, Rivera Rosenblum and Tony Russo who provide technical photography, editing and sound, Angie heads south. Affluent and belonging to the upper crust John is engaged to marry Caroline Rose, his social equal as the daughter of a prominent local family. However, upon seeing each other for the first time since their flame allegedly burned out, Angie and John deny the attraction that everyone at Ogilvie including her partners, his fiancé, and Miss Zula feel is hotter than a peppercorn.------------------ This chick lit romance is enhanced by New Jersey zanies who stick out in rural Georgia amidst local eccentrics as each group adds plenty of humor while observing the not in love goings-on between the filmmaker and the professor. The townsfolk take sides as the matchmakers vs. the anti-matchmakers augment a lighthearted at times satirical romp. Sub-genre fans will appreciate Rosina Lippi¿s war of northern aggression.------------- Harriet Klausner
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so excited to write this book review because I absolutely loved Tied to the Tracks. The synopsis of the story doesn¿t really sound all that exciting: documentary company (Tied to the Tracks of the title) from New Jersey is selected to do the documentary of a famous southern writer, Ms. Zula May Bragg, in Ogilvie, GA. The catch is that the head of the documentary company, Angie, and the department chair of the college where the famous writer is a teacher, John, were once lovers, and John is engaged to be married to the youngest sister of the other rich family in the town. That said, the story was very exciting, fun to read, and enjoyable in all the right ways. The tension between John and Angie is so tight that the book fairly tingles with it. What I absolutely love about Lippi/Donati¿s work is her sense of language. She captures the cadence and rhythm of language in a way that makes the conversations and thoughts of the characters ¿sound¿ in your head. The telephone conversation between Tony Russo (one of the filmmakers) and his mother in New Jersey was a delight to read. I was also excited to see that Lippi accurately placed the origin of Frito Pie in East Texas. It¿s little details like this that make the world she built in Ogilvie, GA, feel as hot, humid, and muggy as it would be if it were a real town just an hour outside of Savannah. I know that a book I am reading strikes a chord with me when I start to have conversations with the characters and imagine what they would do in my world. The characters in TTTT came to life for me, and I had imaginary conversations with them all week. I am going to miss them now that I¿ve read the book and have to place it back on my bookshelf.