Friday, 18 January 2019

ADVENTURES OF A SOUTHERN GIRL by Linda Sue Walker @LaloLafleur

4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: I got talking to the author on Twitter  

In a Nutshell: Memoir; assorted snapshots of life, domestically orientated.

Linda Sue Walker has written a series of small articles in storylike form, about her life in Louisiana, with the odd excursion to extreme-weather-ridden Oklahoma, a weekend up a mountain, and more than a few hours spent at airports.  I was interested in this book because tales of small town America are something I love, particularly those from the Deep South.  I think it's because life there always seems so different from England, and I'm fascinated by how the US seems (to me, sometimes, anyway), to be more like 50 separate countries, in the way Europe is.  Each state is so different.

LSW has a great writing style; I loved the sort of daily life type memoirs in which not a great deal happens (give or take the odd flood, a run-in with White Trash thieves, and dangerous dehydration up the aforementioned mountain), but the writing style keeps you turning the pages and gives you the odd out-loud laugh.  Okay, quite a lot happens, but it's all still kind of cosy and domestic.  It's in the telling.  You know, like Bill Bryson, or the equally entertaining Barb Taub.  The stories centre around LSW's observations of others, her amused and amusing take on life.  It really is a delightful book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

She has a great turn of phrase; here are a few examples I highlighted. 

'Mama's apartment was in an area called the Chauvin Basin.  'Basin' is primarily a British word; however, in French it means, "For the love of God, don't build your home here, it's going to flood."  That is not in Webster's, but it can be found in the Cajun dictionary.'

'We ate after I Lysoled off the table and chairs.  Of course Lysoled is a word.  It is the past tense of spraying Lysol on everything.  Of course, I never really quit spraying it, so I guess it is the present tense also.'

'I replied, "Oh, that's nice."  It's just something we southern ladies say a lot and it can mean anything from. "Are you out of your mind?" to "I have no idea how to reply to that," and lots of things in between.'

'We had two storm chasers at work because, you know, you need a spare.'

'Basically he married me for my Tupperware.... You see, he wanted some Tupperware but was too shy to go to a Tupperware party.  I had a lot of Tupperware so it was easier just to marry me and get the Tupperware by default.'


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