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American Pie

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  69 reviews

The lives of the three McBroom sisters of Tallulah, Tennessee, were tangled before the eldest, Eleanor, discovered their mother hanging from the Venetian blinds and the years have done little to comb out the knots. Now a drunken encounter with the midnight train has left brash, much-married Jo-Nell near death, compelling agoraphobic Eleanor to summon marine biologist Fredd

Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 28th 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  809 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. I like books about the south. I guess I kinda wished Freddie would've stayed and be with Jackson.
Joan Eisenstodt
Apr 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I love Southern writers and books about the South - the eccentricities of the people. This book and others I've read made me laugh out loud and then cry - the situations are all so familiar even if we've never lived them. The human condition explored.
I've read quite a few from author Michael Lee West. I usually love a great sprawling family drama, especially when that family drama takes place in the South, but I've got to say, this one wasn't my favorite. I don't appreciate much language or crudeness, especially if it does nothing to really add to the charachters or the story.

I got stuck waiting unexpectedly, my iPad was dead and I had this one checked out from the library, or honestly, I might not have finished it.

Skip this and read Crazy L
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1999
My favorite quote from the book: "Oh, you just had to wonder. You raise them half decent and they grow up and leave. They move to Miami or California - someplace with gourmet restaurants and nude beaches because you've reared them to cook good and be liberal-minded. It's just the opposite with your failures - them kids stick to your tail like a cocklebur. You'd think it would be the other way around, but it's not."
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
I like interesting characters. This book had them. Mainly, three quirky sisters with a loving grandmother all set in small town Tennessee. I loved the southern foods and customs and idioms found in this book. Wish I had a grandmother like Minerva Pray. I know she would fix me my favorite casserole for supper.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
can't get enough of this author- loved it along with the rest.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by this author, and although it American Pie is better than She Flew the Coop, it still wasn't good. It semed to be building up to an interesting tale, but then it just ended. The characters were quite interesting, but the story fell flat. Apparently I was one of the few who didn't like it though, so if you enjoy southern, gentle fiction you may want to check it out from the library.
After reading "Crazy Ladies" by the same author, I thought I was in for another dissatisfying book but overall I was pleased. The book is about 3 sisters raised by their grandmother--all women are very different with their own set of issues. Well each made their own mistakes and had their faults, they were still likeable characters. Also, there were some pretty hilarious parts. My favorite sister was the oldest, Eleanor who had some serious OCD issues but her brick purse story was a laugh.
Melody Bird
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting as are all of Michael Lee West's books. Well devo
eloped characters and insight into the relationships between women in a family,particularly that of sisters. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially anyone who has an interest in Southern culture.
Alka Upadhyay
Once again if I could give 3.5 stars that would be my rating.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it but had expected more from the reviews I read.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stifler, is back! #StiflerRules
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, 2007
Light read, but not one of her better novels.
Linda T
Story of the three McBroom sisters of Tallulah Tennessee of East Tennessee.
When one of the sisters is involved in an accident, the other two sisters must show up for support. We then find out about all the secrets and quirks of the McBroom sisters.
Donna Arcara
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My notes from July 2001: "I loved this surprising, quirky Southern novel. I was invested in the three sisters and grandmother, and cared about how they were affected when dogged by strange tragedies. Putting West on my list as an author for future reads."
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For the type of book it is it was ok. My favorite chapters were "Minerva Pray"'s chapters.
Three sisters: a floozy, a scared cat, and one that seems pretty normal. The story is OK, but it is nothing new.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got about 80 pages in and gave up. I could not connect with any of the characters.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never heard of the author, Michael Lee West, before, but after picking up this book, I found her writing style to be refreshing and heartwarming. But unfortunately, other than that, I don’t have much to say about it. The book was good, but it didn’t exactly grab my attention. Every time I put it down to do something else, even if only for a few minutes, I’d go back to the book having already forgotten everything that had happened before I stopped. I’d have to go back another paragraph just ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's written in the same fashion and with the same quirky characters as a Fannie Flagg novel. This was only the second book I've read by Ms. West, but it certainly won't be my last. Crazy Ladies was a great read, and so was this.

American Pie follows three Tennessean sisters and their grandmother...Freddie, Jo-Nell, Eleanor, and Minerva Pray. After Jo-Nell's car is hit by a train and she's in the hospital, their small little family gathers around to console one another. Freddie
The McBroom sisters have dealt with tragedy and bad luck for most of their lives and each sister has "managed" differently. Freddie escaped, first to med school, and when things went wrong with a theft from a cadaver, she broke her engagement and ran off to California, reinventing her life in a small town as a whale researcher with another researcher becoming her husband. Eleanor has retreated inward, becoming agoraphobic and obsessively collecting crime statistics. Jo-Nell became the social but ...more
Michael Lee West writes chicklit-ish Southern lit with a distinct tang to it; she usually writes interesting female characters, and I enjoy reading her books. They're reliable comfort-reading. It doesn't hurt that there is usually food-talk involved, as well. I mean, unless you get really hungry at the mention of food, in which case I guess her books could lead to weight gain.

"American Pie" isn't my favorite West book, but it hit all the points I expected it to. There is a POV change with each n
Dec 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not finish. Only got in a few chapters when I realized this one wasn't going to make it for me. It was slow and not very interesting.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have previously read Mermaids in the Basement and found it interesting enough to want to read more by this author. Not chick lit but not literary either, West manages a clever blend of the two.

I do enjoy "southern fiction" and the family expectations and entanglements. This story of 3 sisters faced with some critical life decisions runs the gamut of emotions and remains entertaining from start to finish.

I'm anxious to read another.
I won't exactly say that I had high hopes going into this book, but the previous two West novels I've read were really good, if a little predictable. This one was a shadow of both of them. It had the structure of Crazy Ladies, with the nuggets of a plot that becomes Mermaids in the Basement. My time spent reading it was spent well enough, but it was 10% set up, 10% resolution and 80% fluff and food. Meh.
I really like Michael lee West books. This one was not as well written as her others, but I do believe this was her first book. The characters pulled you in and the southern charm was there, the problem was the ending. The book focuses on a family curse and the lives of three sisters and their grandmother. There is a lot of build-up to just leave you hanging with out a satisfactory conclusion to the story.
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was good enough for me to finish, but it wasn't one of my favorites. The relationship between Minerva and her 3 granddaughters was without a doubt the essence of the book. I did find that fun to read because it reminded me so much of the way my Momma is with my daughters. I know that if I weren't here for them, she would be 100% devoted to taking care of them.
I've gotten so used to action-packed as of late that a slower, more thoughtful book took some getting used to. It's a relatively short book but it took me quite awhile to get through it. I picked out this book after reading a couple of other books set in the South (Joshilyn Jackson's books). "American Pie" just can't compete with "There are Gods in Alabama".
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read quite a few books by this author, and remember liking this book and wondering why no one ever requested it on another site. But it's been a while and I couldn't remember the plot. I just read the reviews on Amazon and nothing rang a bell. So what can I say? Enjoyable but not earth-shattering memorable.
Decent book about 3 sisters who take decidedly different paths in life after their mother's suicide. one flees her Southern roots to study whales in California, one becomes the town harlot, and one becomes convinced the world is a scary dangerous place and begins keeping a scrapbook of every bad thing that happens within a 50 mile radius. Entertaining enough read by a very Southern author.
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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

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