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Ugly Ways

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,384 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The bestselling tale-powerful, compassionate, humorous-of the three Lovejoy sisters reunited in their hometown of Mulberry, Georgia, on the occasion of their mother’s death. As the emotionally scarred Lovejoys prepare for their mother’s funeral, the spirit of the selfish and manipulative Mudear hovers above them, complaining about her daughters’ “ugly ways” in death as she ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 17th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1993)
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Mahoghani 23
Now this is a real situation that may have occurred in some households. The story is narrated amongst five characters in the story; the Lovejoy family and their idiosyncrasies. The urban storyline is harsh but not without its areas of humor. It deals with emotional destruction of the human mind, vanity, adolescence lost, no real paternal guidance from anyone except another sibling and most of all.....a mother's love.

Betty, Emily & Annie Ruth meet in Mulberry, GA to bury their mother. As in m
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book blew my mind. I know that historically, Black women were considered "super moms". That was, of course, generally speaking. So, Tina Ansa decided to write about a mother who was not a super mom. Unfortunately, she is not a mother at all. She is a hateful, spiteful, bitter tyrant who rules over her household until the day she dies. Her daughters are so consumed with her crazy ways that they slowly go crazy themselves until her death frees them. Even though we find out why Mudear changes, ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great sister book. If you have sisters or wish you did this is an interesting read. If you thought your mother was/is something to deal with this story will make you rethink that. Ansa writes a sensitive, revealing, story about the closeness of sisters, the strained relationships between family, and how living with someone that you know has mental problems affects how one functions in their own life. Much of Tina McElroy Ansa's phraseology reminded me of growing up, interactions with family and ...more
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
pretty cool read. Read it in a day.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was just plain ole laugh out loud funny!
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This book was an intimate family drama between three sisters who have to bury their mother in the South. Lots of 1990s vibes and socio-political back-drop to small town life.
Hickman Students
Sep 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ugly Ways chronicles the experience of three sisters in the wake of their mother's death. Mudear, as they have referred to her since childhood, has always been a figure which inspired her daughters with mixed emotions - fear, longing, gratitude, inadequacy, hatred. Now her spirit lingers on, ripe with criticism of her daughters and their "ugly ways" as they scramble to put together her funeral. It's a story about the bruise left by family, about stereotypes, and about the haunting within our own ...more
Shanika Carter
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
It was a rough read for me, personally, at first. In fact, I didn't finish it in time for my book club meeting, but I wanted to finish it and I did. I think the story improved more near the end, as I saw the characters begin to open up about their individual relationships with or feelings for Mudear, but I felt there were still a couple of things unanswered once I finished. I do have another book by the author on my bookshelf that I plan to read one day to see if I find the writing style to be s ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: underwhelming
I really wanted to like this book, it had all the makes of a masterpiece but it fell short chapter by chapter. I felt the author should have done a better job of developing the characters, there was no depth to them so they came off as three whiny girls. At one point I got so frustrated with the constant complaining I was ready to end the book. I just felt the book was really surface level and could have been better.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Not as good as her other books, but still worth reading.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
It had its merits content-wise, but was not a joy to read.
Feb 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Suggested by my intern, Erika Turner, this book was a nice story with a simple one-dimensional tale of three sisters and the death of their mother.
Pepsy’s reading station
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An awesome read.
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mudear is a much better mother than people gave her credit for. This is a book that makes you stop and think about what your expectations are of mothers and sacrifice. Ansa is a crafty writer who leads you to think but doesn't make up your mind. For such a terrible mother, Mudear has some amazing, independent, successful daughters, who, though often plagued by self-doubt, know what they are about. At various points, I was simply blown away by the author's craft: the way, for example, Mudear *nev ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
I thought I was going to enjoy this book. It's well-written enough to keep me reading to the end--I usually stop reading books that I don't enjoy.

This is a story about three thirty-something sisters who return to the small town of Mulberry GA to attend their (crazy? controlling) mother's funeral. It's about their relationship with their mother and each other and all the pain and anger they have about the way they were raised.

I kept reading this book because I was really hoping for some closure,
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club, reviewed
I first read ugly ways some years back, when it was originally published (in what I now think of as the "golden renaissance" of African American women's literature). I have re-read, as a part of my book group, and was reminded of what a talented writer Ansa is - and left wondering why she didn't write/publish more! Entertaining, with well-conceived characters, the book offers an excellent and often humorous portrayal of families, the deep complexities of sibling relationships, and what happens w ...more
Felicia (Ferishia)
Well, I didn't expect to like this. I just picked it for my book club thinking it would be something fast to read. However, as I got into it, the more it appealed to me.

Three sisters, Emily, Betty, and Annie Ruth have to face the fact that their mother has died. They along with their father prepare for her funeral.

There was funny moments along with the sad and insightful. Made me think of my own mother and her mortality, since she is getting up in years.

I would definitely recommend.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I got this book for free at a recycling event in town. It was a little hard to get into at first, but once I got to Mudear's parts, it got good. There were moments in this book that surprised me, especially when the sisters talked frankly about their sex lives. All in all it was entertaining and near the end if the book they discuss the trope of the African American super mom, which I wasn't aware of, so it gave me something new to think about. I appreciated that.
Carolee Weber
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Read this for my book group -- it kept my interest, but in other ways it was a very formulaic story of a dysfunctional Southern family. Why are books set in the South so often about dysfunctional families? I mostly just felt really sorry for the girls in the book and really didn't like their mother, who abused them.
Latanya Hickson
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think it was a very good story telling about how their mother had some very trifling ways and how they had to deal with her living together as a struggling families being poor, and how they had good memories about their lives with her.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
The mother's commentary about her daughters is hilarious.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
"A man don't give a damn about you" - Mudear

Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Three sisters, strong personalities and a crazy mother ... wow ... sounds like my life ... great book!
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I like the way she tells her (TMA) stories
Tasha Brock
Tough read

Didn't like the untold story. Madear was crazy or was she? Would like moire background on the marriage and Loverjoy family
Katherine Early
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my second time reading. Loved it the first time (maybe 10 years ago), second time found it a good read but not great.
Rashida Downs
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Good one.
Traci Phipps
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: will-re-read
it has been a long time but I would love to read again!
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Tina McElroy Ansa is a novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist. But above all, she is a storyteller. She calls herself "part of a long and honored writing tradition, one of those little Southern girls who always knew she wanted to be a writer." She grew up in Middle Georgia in the 1950s hearing her grandfathers stories on the porch of her family home and strangers stories downtown i ...more
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