Synopses & Reviews
If the preacher's wife's petticoat showed, the ladies would make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things took a scandalous turn. That was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson — a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy's adventures began and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town came to life. Not since To Kill A Mockingbird has a novel so deftly captured the subtle crosscurrents of small-town Southern life. Olive Ann Burns classic bestseller brings to vivid life an era that will never exist again, exploring timeless issues of love, death, coming of age, and the ties that bind families and generations.
The town of Cold Sassy, Georgia is scandalized on July 5, 1906 when E. Rucker Blakeslee, a widower for three weeks, eloped with Love Simpson, a northerner.
About the Author
Olive Ann Burns was a writer for all of her professional life, but she completed only one book before her death in 1990. That book, Cold Sassy Tree
, has become a phenomenon since its publication in 1984, selling over one million copies worldwide and still going strong. The author was born in Banks County, Georgia on July 17, 1924, on land originally farmed by her great-great-grandfather. She was the youngest of four children. She died on July 4, 1990. Her unfinished sequel to Cold Sassy Tree
, entitled Leaving Cold Sassy
, was published after her death.
Olive Ann once told an interviewer, "It has been said that growing up in the South and becoming a writer is like spending your life riding in a wagon, seated in a chair that is always facing backwards. I don't face life looking backwards, but I have written about past times and past people. To write Cold Sassy Tree, I interviewed parents, aunts, and old cousins, and I took down what they said in their own words, using the rhythms of their own speech. What I was after was not just names and dates. I wanted stories and details that would bring the dead to life."
Although Olive Ann Burns' literary output was limited to two works, her colorful characters, detail-driven use of setting, and humor-laced plots endeared her to readers of all ages. In large part because she was inspired by what she knew best — the idiosyncrasies of her own family history — Burns was able to bring a region and an era to life.