Little Tea - Overview

Little Tea

Author: Claire Fullerton
Genre: Fiction - Southern
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Date Published: May 1, 2020
ISBN-10: 1645262596
ISBN-13: 9781645262596

About :   Little Tea

Little Tea, by Claire Fullerton, is a delightful “girlfriends” story with a Deep South setting. Three best friends who had bonded as high school students in Memphis, Tenn., in the mid1980s, reconnect twenty years later to support one another during a crisis. The author’s knowledge of Southern culture and dialect, and her descriptive language of the characters, make this novel an enchanting read. Compellingly complex with incredibly moving family dynamics, the story alternates between the 1980s and the present.

Told in the first person by Celia, a woman who describes herself as the one in the middle - the mediator - the plot revolves around Celia and her two best friends, Ava and Renny. Ava, who is fun-loving, and impetuous is contemplating escaping from a dull marriage. She has imposed on her friends for guidance and support in her present predicament and in unraveling her past.  Self- sufficient Renny is the total opposite of Ava. She has invited the other two “sisters” to her lake house in rural Arkansas for a long weekend of reminiscing and introspection.

Celia’s past is alternated with the current situation where she acts as a catalyst between the other two friends. She too has unresolved issues. Growing up privileged from birth on a huge Southern plantation, she had been best friends with a young negro girl, Little Tea, the daughter of the plantation’s overseer. Racial relations didn’t enter into her life until the family moved to Memphis. “Blacks and whites never comingled in Memphis, even though they did coexist.” Through the “black art of bad timing” life became complicated. Through Celia’s eyes in flashbacks, the reader enters the Old South clinging to its traditions and culture. A scene at a harvest Bar B Q complete with a whole roasted hog on a spit is straight out of Southern Living Magazine.

The personalities and character of the individual girls, now women with children of their own, is a fun read with many unexpected twists. The grownup girls experience hilarious adventures while trying to support each other with love and horse sense. When the three teenaged girls had been fishing with friends, Ava sat on a treble-hooked fishing lure. The removal of the hook from her “fat butt” is comic, but later when chided about the incident the adult Ava offers to show the scar to an elderly man.

Celia’s personal story revolves around her history with Little Tea, her childhood friend and the racial tensions of the 1980s. As she ponders over the past, she wonders if their friendship can triumph over their personal history and the nation’s history of prejudice. Readers of women’s fiction with an emphasis on Southern culture will find this novel richly textured and will want to read other books by Claire Fullerton.

About Claire Fullerton

Following Biography Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970's Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers' Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire's first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire's 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review's Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary

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