05 August 2010

The Goddess of Fried Okra | Book Review

Authoress: Jean Brashear
Tagline: "Sometimes...a detour is the only way home."
Pages: @242 Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Genre: Adult Fiction | Drama

My summary: After the loss of her sister, Pea is lost. In desperation (and on the advice of a psychic) she heads to New Mexico determined to find her sister reincarnated. What she finds instead is a home, purpose, redemption, strength, family, and possibly even love.

My say: The Goddess of Fried Okra...reminded me of Billie Letts. Billie writes these beautiful character driven stories where the lost souls find peace and home in each other. That is exactly the journey you embark upon with Pea/Eudora.
Jean weaves a menagerie of flawed eccentric lovable characters together. There is no great revelations or riveting story line. But there is fantastic characters that you root for, smile with, and enjoy watching them develop and grow. The kind you wish you could invite over for sweet tea and pie.
However, the best part of this story is the advice these characters share with each other. These are the kind of quotes I could see taping to a mirror or becoming a mantra.

My favorite quotes:
  • "I might not know every step of my journey, but standing still wouldn't accomplish a thing."
  • "Sometimes you just had to take a step, whatever the direction, and see what happened."
  • "The big lesson in having children is just how little in life you can really control."
  • "Life seldom gives us do-overs. We have to make the best of the time we're given."
  • "Love or hate, sisters know each other like nobody else."
  • "Sometimes you just have to take the leap and see where the road leads."
  • "If people love you, they love you. If they don't, you can't make them. It's their loss."

My verdict: While it isn't a story for everyone (it is character driven and very pro-female) it is an endearing journey that is worth the ride.

My star rating: 4 out of 5 stars; This story about finding peace, forgiving your self, and overcoming your past was impossible to put down.

My warning: There is no happily-ever-after in this one. It has an open-ending that is left to interpretation. But the reader is left satisfied and proud of Eudora's journey and transformation.

My kiddie-o-meter: This tale is definitely for grown girls. There is mentions to sex, infidelity, sexuality, religion, gambling, teenage pregnancy, and abuse.

My cover thoughts: Oddly enough, the cover fits. It represents the desolate road and her determination to channel her inner warrior and become the kind of fierce woman she has always looked up to.

My final say: I couldn't help thinking of Where the Heart Is while reading this. Have you ever read the novel or seen the film?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com


  1. Wonderful review! Now that you mention it, I think I saw the movie version of Where the Heart Is. Is that the one where the girl has her baby in Walmart?

    Since I enjoyed that movie, I'd love to read this book. Sometimes I really, really enjoy character-driven plots.

  2. While I'm not really a fan of the cover, this sounds really good. I'll have to give it a go! :)

  3. I love the quotes Juju!And that is absolutely right, sisters are the best ;p

    Nope, I never read or watch the movie.

  4. This sounds better than I thought it would by title. I really like Where the Heart is, but I don't like when books talk to much about child abuse - does this one have that? I like all those quotes - sounds like an inspirational book - my favorite kind.

  5. Mary Campbell: No not much abuse at all. It's only mentioned in passing several times. I definitely think you should try it. :)

    Darlyn: Agreed! :)

    Melissa: Yah! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Emidy: It is! Remember how the oddest folks become like her family? :)

  6. Wonderful review! I have read Where the Heart Is, and it was in my head as soon as you said Billie Letts. You got me with this one, Juju. (but I don't like the title much) :-)

  7. Not my thing but I'm glad you liked it.

  8. Loving those quotes, definitely mantras in the making. The whole "pro-female" aspect, I definitely have a friend that would LOVE to know about this one. Alas, no I haven't read or seen Where the Heart Is....but will certainly Google it after my comment. ^_^

  9. GMR: Oh you must check it out :) Where the Heart Is is SO cute and it has Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd. The book is better but the film is great too :)

    Shannon: Yah! Another Billie Letts fan! :)

  10. I'm not sure this is entirely for me, but I loved your review and all the quotes you added in. Where the Heart Is is such a great movie, but I haven't read the book...may have to do that soon.

    Loved this quote: "The big lesson in having children is just how little in life you can really control." - That is definitely the truth, and maybe why I have such a hard time with it quite often (I'm a bit of a control freak, if you hadn't noticed. lol). Nope, you can't control your children, even when they are very very little.

    Also, loved this one: "If people love you, they love you. If they don't, you can't make them. It's their loss." - So true.

    Great review! Thank you so much for sharing all those great quotes and tidbits from the book. Just lovely!

  11. 1st daughter: Ahh thanks :) I'm so glad you liked the quotes. The one about children really struck me too. And girl, I am going to constantly remind my self the one about "you can't make them".

  12. This is a great review. I will have to put this on my TBR pile for the future. Lately, I haven't been in the mood for books that are too serious. I love the style of your revies BTW- very informative, but not long winded. Awesome. ;D

  13. thanks for the review! i think i would really enjoy this book. and i love the title of the book too.. makes it stand out.

  14. I loved Where the Heart Is! This one sounds interesting--I hadn't heard of it before, but I'm putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

  15. Hi babe! Glad to be back.
    I love Billie Letts! Sounds good, i will add it to my list.

  16. Hmm, I don't know if I normally would have picked this one up, but it sounds really interesting. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the review!

  17. Grace: You're so sweet! Thank you! *hugs* You made my day!

    Toothy: Exactly!

    Meredith: Oh me too!

    itsJUSTme: Whoot!

    Lizzy: Thanks :)

  18. oh beautiful! kind of sounds like a joshilyn jackson book too! i've got to download this one!!!

  19. Stacy: I've never heard of her! Should I try her? Any recommendation?

  20. This one just sounds amazing! I have one of Billie Letts' books sitting at my home - so I think this one will be a good book for me too!

  21. Okra salad is my favourite so the title grabbed my attention. Never tried fried okra though :)

  22. Aths: Ooo which one?

    Cherry: I've never heard of Okra salad? Fried okra is big in the Southern parts of the US :)

  23. I love Billie Letts. Well, I loved Where the Heart is anyway (I've been thinking of doing a re-read...). I did download this from the Kindle thing so hopefully I'll get around to reading it one day.

  24. LadyTink: Oooo I hope you like it. Let me know when you do :)