Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Little Tea by Claire Fullerton. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, spotlights, reviews and more!
Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy
by Claire Fullerton
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 252 pages
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.
For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.
My review of Little Tea
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Southern Fiction novel. Reading Little Tea reminded me why I used to enjoy them so much. I know that there are so many books so little time; however, if you’re a fan of Southern Fiction or Women’s Fiction, you need to make time to read Little Tea.
The story centers around three women who have been friends for over 30 years. Renny, Ava, and Celia met when Celia began attending the Catholic school Renny and Ava attended. We aren’t really told exactly how the three became friends, but Celia’s memories clearly convey the bond they have. Little Tea is a present day story, but Celia’s memories from the 1980s bring context and depth to the story.
Celia and her family are at the center of the story as is her friend Little Tea. Little Tea isn’t in the circle of the three friends because she is black, and it’s the 1980’s south. Celia and Little Tea’s family have been connected for several generations, so their friendship doesn’t seem odd to most of those closest to them. To outsiders, it’s still frowned upon.
The women in this story are around my age. I graduated in 1988 in Ohio where I’ve lived my entire life. As I was reading Celia’s memories, I had to keep reminding myself that she’s remembering the 80s, not the 50s or 60s. This southern mindset and prejudice are so foreign to me. Yes, people in the north in the 1980s still had prejudices but not my generation (that’s not an all encompassing generalization…I’ll just say most of my generation weren’t).
The prejudice that was abundant in the south intensely affected Celia’s family and friends. Fullerton weaves this story in a way that made me feel as if I were one of the threads in the fabric of Celia’s life. Her exquisite descriptive writing style will transport you to the south and plop you right into the story.
Little Tea is the first story I’ve read by Claire Fullerton, but it won’t be the last. I definitely recommend it when you’re in the mood for a good Southern fiction.
About Claire Fullerton
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.
Website – https//www.clairefullerton.com
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/cffullerton
Purchase Link – Amazon
Little Tea Tour Participants
Literary Gold – GUEST POST
FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTEVIEW
Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – GUEST POST
MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW, GUEST POST
Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
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