Cold Sassy Tree
A review of the Cold Sassy Tree giving the reader a glimpse of how things use to be in the deep South during the early 1900's
Cold Sassy Tree is a fictional novel written by Olive Ann Burns. It is narrated by the main character, Will Tweedy who is 14 years old. The book is set in the fictional town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, during the early 1900's. A time when there were codes of etiquette that people followed and plenty of gossips to talk about those who didn't.
The book opens with what seems to be a typical day at the Tweedy house. Until Will's grandfather comes to announce his engagement to a much younger woman, a miliner who works in his store but who also happens to be a Yankee. To add to the scandal, his wife, Mattie Lou, had only been dead three weeks when Rucker, Will's grandfather, decides that having a wife would be much cheaper than hiring a housekeeper.
While Will is supportive of his grandfather's decision, the rest of the family is moritifed. There are many twists and turns throughout the book, but it gives the reader a good glimpse into the inner workings of typical Southern society.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Being from the South myself, I could relate to many of the characters in the book. Olive Ann Burns does a great job of making this fictional town into reality. Reading the book through the eyes of Will allowed the reader to both experience the event as it happened, but to also see it with the innocence that hasn't been tainted by societal gossip.
Cold Sassy Tree has a mix of great humor, family turmoil, romance, and understanding. While some writers portray Southerners as ignorant and backwards, she shows the true heart of the South. A place where family values and the family way of life is respected even during tragedy. She also shows that even during the most trying of times families pull together even if they don't like each other. It is a must read for anyone who knows what it means to love your family but to also not like them very much at the same time.
Pushing the Bear