The author of this extremely witty and honest novel brings us into the world of the South, and what the "Name" means to good old southern ladies and gentleman. A girl can be ugly as a mud fence, dumb as a brick, or even crafty as a cockroach, but if she has the right "Name," she's absolutely golden.
Heritage and ancestry are explored a great deal as we first meet up with Priscilla "Peach" Rondell, of the Tenessee Bells, who were the hosts, not to mention victims, of the famous Bell Witch. Her mother reminds Peach of this many a time as she's growing up; in fact, she even takes away Peach's first best friend by the name of Dorrie. Dorrie is a great girl, who happens to have braces on her legs because of being stricken with polio. The grande dame of the Bell family tree literally tells Peach she can't socialize with Dorrie because she's not "their kind of people," and replaces her with a horrific child who is completely snotty and only cares about money. Peach's mom loves these holier-than-thou types, and Peach flees after her graduation, marries a man she loves, and is determined never to go home again.
Unfortunately, her husband calls her one day and leaves the message that he no longer wants to be married because he's found someone else. And Peach's ever-helpful psychiatrist tells her that in order to see your future, the best place to begin is back in your past. This doctor feels that Peach's mother is the one that "did her in" a long time ago, and it's time for Peach to face her demons.
Soon Peach is on her way back to the old plantation. Her father, whom she loved more than life and who understood her, has gone to Heaven, so it's just her and good old mom at the breakfast table every morning. Mom still tells Peach every chance she gets that she's not being or acting like the proper Southern lady, and Peach remains quiet, opens her journal, and writes down all the memories that she has from her childhood. The stories she remembers are not only losing her best friend Dorrie - the only friend she ever chose for herself, but also her Grandma GiGi, who was a proper Southern Belle, who Peach remembers lying to a man and getting him thrown into prison, where the man soon lost his life. As the journal continues, all the bad, sad, and happy memories begin to emerge from Peach's brain, and she starts - in an odd way - to heal.
One day she finds herself at The Heartbreak Cafe' where doors are opened into friendship and true love that Peach truly thought were going to be non-existent in her life from now until death. Colorful characters such as Scratch, Dell, Purdy, Hoot and Boone are introduced, and old memories begin to assault Peach as she remembers how Boone was the only boy in her past who accepted her without the make-up, ballgowns, and lies.
This is a fantastic story that will take anyone back into their own memories, and resurrect the reasons why we came to be the people we are, and whether or not we can change, forgive, forget, and make our lives just a little bit better.
Until Next Time,
For fans of Fannie Flagg-the acclaimed author of Heartbreak Cafe delivers a heartwarming, hilarious new novel.
Twenty-three years ago, beauty queen Peach Rondell left Mississippi and vowed never to return. Now she's back, divorced and heartbroken, trying to figure out how her life went so terribly wrong. To escape her mama's scrutinizing gaze, she spends her days in a little storefront diner called the Heartbreak Cafe, where, in the back booth, she scribbles away in her journal, waiting for enlightenment. Instead, Peach gets something even better: the unexpected friendship of an unlikely group of folks who show Peach that finding out where you're going usually means embracing where you're from.