September 22, 2016

Looking Back - Leaving Cold Sassy

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

Leaving Cold Sassy by Olive Ann Burns and Katrina Kenison
1994 Delta (First published in 1992)
Finished on November 2, 1996
Rating: 2/5 (So-so)

Publisher's Blurb:

Cold Sassy Tree, Olive Ann Burns' unforgettable story of a Georgia town at the turn of the century, has captivated millions of readers with its tale of Grandpa Blakeslee, his young bride Miss Love, and the irrepressible fifteen-year-old Will Tweedy. Throughout her long battle with cancer, Olive Ann Burns worked passionately on a sequel to this magical book. Only during her final days did she realize she wouldn't complete it, dictating from her hospital bed her wishes that the finished chapters be published.

The result is Leaving Cold Sassy - a portrait of the grown-up Will Tweedy; of the feisty young schoolteacher who captures his heart; of the town that has claimed a place in the American imagination; and, in a fascinating reminiscence by her editor, of Olive Ann Burns, a writer who didn't get a chance to finish her extraordinary tale.

Complete with Olive Ann Burns' notes for later scenes and chapters exactly as she wrote them, Leaving Cold Sassy is a final, loving goodbye to Cold Sassy, Georgia.
My Original Notes (1996):

So-so. Not nearly as good as Cold Sassy Tree. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact the author wrote this as she lay dying of cancer. The working title was Time, Dirt, and Money and was intended to be a sequel to Cold Sassy Tree. Unfortunately, the characters and storyline are very thin/superficial. I was really disappointed. Olive Ann Burns didn't finish the book before her death, but her editor included Olive's notes for the remaining chapters, as well as a reminiscence by the editor. The family photos were a nice touch, too. I didn't realize that the characters were based on Olive Burns' family (particularly her parents).

This sequel wasn't very good, but the biography by the editor was wonderful! Very sad and moving. Feels like I know Olive Ann and her husband Andy, who also died of cancer. I'm glad I kept reading. 

My Current Thoughts:

I wrote about Cold Sassy Tree a couple of weeks ago and I'm a little surprised that I read this sequel so soon after finishing the first book, but back in the late '90s, I didn't have a huge TBR stack (if any at all!), so I probably went straight to the bookstore and bought this book to read right away. As much as I love having a lot of books to choose from here in my house, there's something refreshing about the idea of going out to buy a book as soon as I hear about it and actually reading it right away rather than letting it languish on a shelf for years. Ah, the good old days! :) But I digress. 

I no longer have a copy of Leaving Cold Sassy and if I did, I'm pretty sure it would go in the donation box, as I don't plan to read it a second time. However, I do plan to read Cold Sassy Tree sometime in the near future. 


  1. I should read this. I own it but I had heard that it was never finished and was not that great... So it has sat unread on my shelves for a very, very long time. lol

    1. Kelly, I'd probably just read the biographical section at the end. The novel isn't really worth reading, in my opinion.

  2. I'm sure my review of Leaving Cold Sassy would be the same as yours. I read it but didn't find it nearly as good as the first book. And, I think we all probably have crazy TBR lists now that we've been blogging :)

    1. Iliana, it's too bad it was never completed, but I did enjoy the editor's biographical commentary.


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