July 5, 2009

Taking Lottie Home

Taking Lottie Home by Terry Kay
2000 William Morrow
Quit on 6/19/09
Rating: DNF

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Georgia at the beginning of the 20th century, this latest novel by the popular author of Shadow Song is an evocative, atmospheric and elegiac story of an uncommon woman and the three men she loves. Lottie Augusta Barton, "angel of the lonesome," is born in a tumbledown river house in Augusta. To escape from her troubled family, she takes to the road in 1904 with a traveling salesman. On the train, she meets Ben Phelps and Foster Lanier, baseball players just cut from the Augusta Hornets. Ben, nearly as sweet-natured as Lottie, is on his way home to a good job in a dry-goods store in his home town of Jericho. Foster, drunk and down on his luck, takes up with Lottie and they both join a traveling carnival. To Ben's surprise, when the carnival comes to Jericho, Foster's strange generosity sets Ben up as a local hero in a carny baseball game, and almost kindles romance between Ben and Lottie. Several years later, when Ben is engaged to his boss Arthur Ledford's daughter, Sally, he hears from Lottie; she and Foster married and have a son, called Little Ben, but Foster is dying and would like to see Ben again. Ben goes to Kentucky, and ends up bringing Lottie and her son to stay in his mother's house for a time, when both fall ill. The townspeople flutter around Lottie, whose radiant, serene presence draws them to her like moths to a gentle flame. A local lowlife attempts to blackmail Lottie with her carnival past, but Arthur Ledford, who's come to love Lottie, rescues her. Ben takes her home to Augusta; then he returns to Jericho, marries Sally and never sees Lottie again. Little Ben comes back, though, and in an epilogue, his daughter, the story's offscreen narrator, adds a poignant twist to the narrative. Though slow at the outset, this affecting novel glows with warmth and sincerity, and manifests Kay's customary ability to pull at the heartstrings.

Meh. I gave up after 32 pages. I knew it wasn't going to grab me, even after skimming ahead a few pages. However, I have a copy of To Dance With the White Dog in my stacks and will gave that a try instead.


  1. Not every book can be a winner right? Hopefully the next one will grab you!! :)

  2. Yeah,interesting to read To Dance With The White Dog

  3. I didn't like Taking Lottie Home Either - and I really thought I would. I gave up pretty quickly when I tried it. Do read To Dance with the White Dog. Loved that one. And if you ever get the chance, watch the movie!!

    Linda in VA

  4. I haven't read much fiction this summer. I've tried little chapters from lots of highly recommended books, but nothing has clicked with me.

  5. That summary is so hard to follow, I don't think I would enjoy it either.

  6. I know how this goes all too well recently! Hope you have better luck with your next choice.

  7. I can't come to your blog without adding a handful more books to my "wish list"! We have very similar taste in reading, I think!

    I am currently reading Still Alice, which I noticed is in your sidebar right now. So far it is a fantastic book!

  8. Staci - I've had a lot of hit-or-misses this summer! I've learned, however, to quit on the ones I'm not enjoying. There just isn't enough time to read everything I want if I'm going to waste time reading books that bore me.

    Linda - I'll definitely give To Dance with the White Dog. I know Rod enjoyed it. Hope you're having a good summer!

    Debnance - It's been an odd summer for me. I seem to be giving up on a lot of books. Or maybe it just seems that way. Too distracted with all the summer activities and vacations, I suppose.

    Lisa - I went back and re-read it and you're right, it's very confusing!!

    Andi - Hey there!! I've missed ya! I've popped over to your blog here and there, but haven't had much time to comment on anyone's this summer. Hope life is treating you well!

    Kristen - Yes, Still Alice is one my favorites this year. She does such a remarkable job portraying an Alzheimer patient. Have you had a chance to read my review? You can find it here.


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