Ugly Ways

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Overview

The bestselling tale-powerful, compassionate, humorous-of the three Lovejoy sisters reunited in their hometown of Mulberry, Georgia, on the occasion of their mother’s death. As the emotionally scarred Lovejoys prepare for their mother’s funeral, the spirit of the selfish and manipulative Mudear hovers above them, complaining about her daughters’ “ugly ways” in death as she did in life.

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Ugly Ways

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Overview

The bestselling tale-powerful, compassionate, humorous-of the three Lovejoy sisters reunited in their hometown of Mulberry, Georgia, on the occasion of their mother’s death. As the emotionally scarred Lovejoys prepare for their mother’s funeral, the spirit of the selfish and manipulative Mudear hovers above them, complaining about her daughters’ “ugly ways” in death as she did in life.

The new novel by the highly acclaimed author of Baby of the Family. A mother's death provides a time of reckoning for her three daughters. As they prepare for the funeral, members of the Lovejoy family must come to grips with their relationships with their mother.

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Editorial Reviews

Donna Seaman
It's ironic that sisters Betty, Emily, and Annie Ruth have Lovejoy as a last name, since they experienced so little of either love or joy in their peculiar household. Their mother, called Mudear, decided to cope with her husband's tyranny and the endless demands of domesticity by simply refusing to do anything she didn't want to do. This category included leaving the house, performing any acts even remotely associated with cooking and cleaning, and expressing any tenderness or understanding. Instead, Mudear filled her time with beauty routines, television, gardening (only under the cover of darkness), and bossing around her bright, beautiful, and obedient daughters. This jangling, slightly mystical, extremely feminine, and intriguing novel begins with Mudear's sudden death. As her adult daughters prepare for the funeral, they talk about their bizarre upbringing, professional successes, and romantic failures, and recognize how deeply their mother's remoteness affected them. On the one hand, her selfishness stunted their capacity for love, while on the other, her independence taught them to be proud and self-sufficient. Ansa, author of the widely praised "Baby of the Family (1989), has once again infused African American family life with a curious sense of magic and destiny.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151925537
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/26/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Tina McElroy Ansa is the author of Baby of the Family, The Hand I Fan With, and You Know Better. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she can be seen on the CBS News Sunday Morning segment "Postcards from Georgia." She lives with her husband on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    Well told story

    I enjoyed this book, read through it in one sitting. The story was well developed and flowed effortlessly from the past and the present. At the end I didn't know weather to laugh or cry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 3, 2006

    What a GREAT read. DON'T miss out

    This is a book that so many women can relate to.This book helped me realize, NOT to sweat the small things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 25, 2001

    Interesting Story With Issues¿.

    The novel focuses on the lives of Mudear, her three daughters (Betty, Emily, and Annie), and husband (Ernest) and the havoc she caused in their lives. The author weaves back and forth through time to paint a sad story of children struggling to make sense and adjust to a night-time gardening, TV-watching, self-absorbed, man-hating, non-nurturing, dictator-like mother. While the husband/father, Ernest Lovejoy, can escape into his job at the chalk mines, the everlasting effect she has on her children¿s life is profound. Mudear believed she was instilling virtues of self-reliance, independence, and self-confidence into her daughters, but soon learns (via her ghost) the motherly lessons has wrecked havoc in their adult relationship with men, has lead one daughter into a rushed marriage just to escape from home, and contributed to another¿s nervous breakdown. Although all the girls are successful professionally, it stems from their desire to please Mudear and satisfy her very high expectations. The pivotal event is the mother's funeral where it brings the family together and only then do the years of suppressed anger, resentment, and frustration finally surface and the healing begins. The book is easy to read and follow¿there are detailed descriptions, and lots of funny, entertaining dialogue to keep the story flowing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    Pretty Good

    Ugly ways was a pretty good read. The fictional story was believable and indeed interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    FOR ANYONE WHO HAS EVER BEEN DEPRESSED

    Ugly Ways gets better on the second reading. I love Mudear's pearls of wisdom as the ghost and I hated her methods of raising children or being a wife. If you have ever been depressed, this book will lift your spirits and provide a little breathing room in your heart and head. I thoroughly enjoyed Ansa's book. Her other books leave me wanting the humor and warmth I experienced in Ugly Ways.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2001

    Ugly Ways

    I loved the book, i could't put it down it made me laugh and it made me cry. I could not beleive some of the things they went threw .I kind of hated to finish the book because that meant it was all over. I recommend this book to any and every one--Signed what do i do now SB of Norfolk???c

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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