Chrys Pickett left her small town home in Appalachia and her accent behind in Piney Creek. She earned a PhD in English Literature and was an instructor at a small college until her girlfriend “traded her in for a newer model.”
Forty years old and heartbroken, she decides to go home, just for the summer, and take care of her grandmother since Nanny just fired her aide for stealing her pills.
Chrys is knocked off her feet by her attraction to Nanny’s physical therapist Dee, but knows that she’s not ready for another relationship. Not until she can heal her heart and figure out how she got to this broken place.
I loved getting to know Chrystal Pickett through her interaction with her Appalachian family. At the beginning of the story she is in that hurt place and doubting everything about her life, but Nanny, her grandmother, is not about to let her wallow in her sadness.
Nanny is a funny, wise woman. She lets her granddaughter take care of her as she comes to terms with the life changes of growing older.
Dee is a divorced single mother and Nanny’s new physical therapist. She is grounded and seems sure of her place in the world.
The Writing Style
This story is as warm and inviting as a good friend with a hot cup of coffee on a cold day. The author is from the south and the perfect dialogue draws the reader from wherever they live down into the southern town of Piney Creek, located in a “holler off a dirt road.”
I love how the author adds little nuances to the characters, bringing depth to them. You may not know the people of Piney Creek, but you know people who are like them.
The author has a deep affection for her characters and setting and that familiarity drew me right in. I felt like I was watching Wheel of Fortune on the tv in the other room while Chrys and Nanny sat on the porch drinking iced tea. That’s how into the story I was.
This is a funny, touching story full of charming, quirky characters. I loved that this story shows the main character coming home to rest her heart and “put up” with her backwoods family, only to find that it is her family that helps her heal and grow.
Thank you Julia Watts for this storyline. One that is sometimes difficult to find in lesfic.
The only con I can think of is that things wrapped up a little quickly at the end.
This is a southern charm bracelet of a book with one charming character after another making up this story.
The woman, not the romance, is at the center of the story. Chrys has reached a fork in the road of her life journey. She goes home in part to lick her wounds and heal, but she also makes the kinds of discoveries about herself and her family that you can only be open to after life has kicked you around a bit.
Excerpt from Hypnotizing Chickens by Julia Watts
“As good as you remember?” Dee asked.
“Absolutely. Here.” She held out the tomato to Dee who leaned forward, lips parted, and took a big bite.
“I know, right?”
Chrys imagined Dee leaning toward her not for a mouthful of tomato, but for a kiss. Stop, she told herself. It’s too soon, you’re still too hurt, and this is nothing more than the middle-aged version of an unrequited schoolgirl crush. But even as she tried to reason with herself, she couldn’t help noticing how red the tomato juice had made Dee’s lips.
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781594933967
- Publisher: Bella Books
Julia Watts Online
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.