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Crazy Ladies

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,020 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

From the author of Mad Girls in Love comes this lively multigenerational tale of six charming, unforgettable Southern women -- a novel of love and laughter, pain and redemption.

Though she was born in Tennessee, Miss Gussie is no country fool. A woman who can handle any situation, she has her hands full w
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30)
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Maria (Ri)
Jul 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I finished this one last night and I am already missing the characters! I really loved this book! It reminded me so much of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik, one of my favorite authors. This is southern version with a little more dramatic kick. As crazy and "unlovable" as she was, Dorothy was one of my favorite characters. She needed to be loved so badly but just went about it in all the wrong ways. Oh Dorothy, if only I could have seen you for counseling and a homeopathic remed ...more
May 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
chick lit. michael lee west writes the BEST books! this one is the 'first' book about miss gussie and her antics as she grows up and raises a family. super good read with a southern twist
Heather Gay
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: shannan
Recommended to Heather by: My Mom
Shelves: favorites
I can always go back to this book for light-hearted laugh out loud fun. Michael Lee West tells the same story from different perspectives, (think Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible), and the voices are so consistent, so genuine and SO Hilarious. I thought HE was a genius author that could really capture the female voice until I found out that He, Michael Lee West, WAS a woman!! Less impressed once I found that out, but the book is still great. Similar style to Fried Green Tomatoes, etc.
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm just not big on stories of dysfunctional women who make stupid choices their whole lives. "Crazy Ladies" was an apt title. Both the characters and the story lacked depth. In some ways this felt like a Cliff Notes version of a book even though it was almost 400 pages long. I forced myself to finish thinking somehow it would redeem itself. It didn't. There are too many good books out there to waste your time on this one.
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves southern women and culture
This book is a delight--funny, thought-provoking, sad and also inspirational. The characters are interesting and well-drawn. Hard to put down and one that I read again and again.
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: like stories about crazy women/friendships/females in families
I normally do not like fiction, but I really couldn't put this book down. I grew up the crazy tales and trouble-making characters and I feel like this is a grown up version. The book starts in the earlier part of the 20th century and ends in the 70s, a journey through the secrets and lives of three generations of southern women. I really like the way that the author tells each chapter in a different character's voice. The author has a great way of weaving the characters stories together. The aut ...more
May 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes southern writing.
This story takes place over 40 years, from 1932 to 1972, in the southern United States. It centers around women in a family (5 women plus their maid). The chapters are written in their different voices. The book was a wonderful read, very easy to lose yourself in it for a couple hours. It's especially good if you like southern stories or stories that take place "back in the day", as I do.
Jul 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. The only thing that bothered me was some of the language used, but due to the time setting of this book it made sense I suppose.

I thought it was interesting seeing the story through all of the different characters.

Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was diappointed with this book and can't even remember if I finished it or not. It just couldn't hold my attention and the characters weren't very relatable.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Carla by: Suzanne
My aunt gave me this to read. I'm finally on the last chapter today. It has been such a great read that I'm disappointed that it will be over after this last chapter.
Sarah Jamison
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my second West book within a month and even though I only checked it out because the book I wanted wasn't around and I couldn't think of anything else to get, I'm glad I did. This is the kind of book you read while somebody else drives and you have 10 minutes in the car. You have five minutes in a checkout line, so you read some of it. Thirty minutes before bed is plenty of time to learn more and more about the Crazy Ladies of Crystal Falls, Tennessee. A paragraph here, a chapter there. ...more
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Sometimes books with Appalachian settings are very heavy. Sometimes they are so simple they make southerns look silly or ignorant. I found this book had a very good blend. It tackled some tough issues but it was complemented by humor to lighten it up a bit. The characters were varied as well. The book covered forty years so as the reader, I saw them grow. None of the characters were completely good nor bad. Like real people I know, I found qualities to admire and to dis ...more
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
What a find!!! This book came from a hunt for Southern, fun beach reads for a recent trip. Chosen simply for it's title and cover photo, once again, I am reminded that sometimes you can pick a book, just for it's cover.
The 6 women in this book ARE crazy, and thoughtful and caught in the roles assigned to them by the family and their community. All of this is wrapped up in a family whose history is irrevocably changed by one incident.
Add this to your summer reading - you will be glad you did!
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was on my "To Read" list for years, and I'm so glad that I finally got around to finding it. With multiple narrators and a fifty-year span, this book covers several generations of southern women and takes us from shortly before WWII through the Vietnam era. I thought it was striking to see both how much things change over time and how much things stay the same.
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love the multi-generational novel about eccentric southern women. This one was more soap-operesque trash about truly dysfunctional and crazy women and unfaithful men. Its one you keep reading to find out how it ends even though you can see it as a Lifetime made for tv movie. And I read the next in the series and it was more of the same.
May 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
The mother and favored daughter characters reminded me too much of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, so it was a little disappointing and I don't particulary like books that have a lot of infidelity in them, but most books seem to have that anymore.

Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I've read this book several times before. It's a mix between a simple Southern novel and historical fiction. I love all the women's characters and the fact that the story is told from each of their points of view.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have actually read this book quite a few times. It follows the lives of several (quite colorful) southern women through some troubled times but keeps you laughing.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Loved this book. Crazy southern ladies. :) Reminded me of my family..I always swear that Jerry Springer has a warrant out on my family.
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, hardback
The title says it!! Crazy is the right word for these ladies although not the only right one. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of them!!
And learned a lot also!
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
i picked this book up at a yard sale and i am sooo glad i did. i just purchased the sequel to it from b&n. loved it!
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Three generations of Tennessee women. Were they crazy? Hmmm....define crazy. Great read!
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! This book read like a song. Made me feel better about being from a family full of crazy ladies from the south. Loved every word. I could see every place, feel every emotion, and the dialog was like a call from back home. Well done Ms. West! I'll be reading more of your work. Thank you.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really good read. Thought provoking and great real-life characters!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved how detailed each characters' perspective in this book was. The story over the span of years had me hooked. This was a quick read since I couldn't put it down!
Nikki Baas
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely in the love with this book!
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was very good. I enjoy going through the years with the same characters. She is a great author
Donna LaValley
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Crazy Ladies”

I’m having a hard time deciding between 4 or 5 stars!

The case for 5 stars:
* The book was so good I finished it in 2 days; I could visualize locations and characters.
* The story spanned three generations, and at my age I like that.
* It was about women’s relationships to each other in addition to relationships with men.
* It had that humorous and matter-of-fact attitude “Southern women” have about the practicalities of life and marriage.
* There was affection and loyalty in addition
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Crazy Ladies is a multigenerational story of 6 unforgettable Southern women - Miss Gussie; her daughters, Dorothy and Clancy Jane; Gussie's granddaughters, Violet and Bitsy; and Queenie, who had been with Miss Gussie for years.
The book starts out with Miss Gussie trying to calm her daughter, Dorothy, who has the colic. Finally asleep, Charlie, Gussie's husband comes up to the house for his meal, then goes upstairs to bathe. In the meanwhile, a young man comes to the door smelling of corn whiskey
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Goodreads Librari...: Description Change 2 20 Feb 10, 2014 10:52AM  
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Michael Lee West grew up on the Gulf Coast with a wild tribe of Southern cooks. She lives on a farm near Nashville with her family. Michael is the author of Crazy Ladies, Mad Girls in Love, She Flew the Coop, American Pie, Mad Girls in Love, Mermaids in the Basement, Consuming Passions, and Gone With a Handsomer Man. Her new novel, A Teeny Bit of Trouble, is the second installment in the Teeny Tem ...more
More about Michael Lee West...

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