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The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,864 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Welcome to Florabama, Alabama-a place where you can stop to sip a co'cola or iced tea and think about money and love. If you had 'em, you were free to think about other things. If you didn't, you couldn't think about anything else.
"We've been screwed blue and tattooed," quips Hilly Pruitt, upon hearing the news of the closing of Cherished Lady, the local lingerie factory
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ebook, 384 pages
Published January 29th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published March 19th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Elise
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Snore. Characters were shallow, plot was canned and never quite developed. Love the idea of the small southern town and a group of its women trying to improve their lives, but it just never took shape!
Gwenette
Overall, I liked this book. I didn't like some of the stereotypes the author used (for example, the Indian family who owned the motel at the interstate exit in southern Alabama, and all the black service workers).

I was 3/4 of the way through the novel when I finally understood the title, and I think that should have been evident earlier. It took a long time for her to set the scene. I understand that she wanted to create empathy for the characters, and that takes time, but it seemed like lots of
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Maria
I enjoyed some parts of this book tremendously, but overall it was mediocre. The author tried to cram too many characters in, and as a result it seemed that most of them ended up flat, like wallpaper. I think I still could have given the book a 3 instead of a 2, but the overuse of "sotto voce" in this novel was quite honestly unforgivable to me. The term was out of place, not fitting with the writing style at all, and it shouldn't have made it in even once. I counted at least eight uses of it (o ...more
Tammie
May 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-lit
This book was enjoyable. Some parts more than others. While the writer did well on the chapters concerning her main charactor Bonnie, who is upper-middle class, she treats Bonnie's students, women who have worked in a factory that has shut down due to foreign competition, as one-dimentional, childlike creatures. There is a condescending presence with them throughout the book, as if people caught up in this kind of life and work are somehow less complete personalities and of lower intelligence. ...more
Janice
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
If you read the jacket leaves, you've read the book.
Joan
Nov 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was disappointing. It started out fine. I could follow where the author was going. Then it just got lost. There were so many points that where left up in the air. A sewing club was just mentioned in passing 3/4 of the way thru the book. Was hoping for talk about the womens club and their interaction.....got none of that.
You don't know what happens in the end. Where does the main character go? What happens to Roxy...does she come back and give the money back? Does Hilly get married? Wh
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Craftnut -
Another book where the title promised sewing and didn't deliver. There is a sewing bit in the last third of the book, but it isn't explored as well as it could have been. The story follows the ladies as they are downsized out of jobs, and try to find their way in new situations, returning to school and finding work. The sewing circle becomes a way to make some money, but even that has a disaster that the central character should have seen coming, I sure did. It annoys me when a woman is portraye ...more
girl writing
This kept my interest enough to finish it but afterward the only description I have is 'flat'. I didn't really get how Bonnie (the main character) could step in to her new job without having worked in 20 or so years and be successful. The book didn't cover that much. One day she's new on the job and the next time she's at work, she's established support groups and rapport. And, it started to bother me how many times she didn't remember something from her past when talking to childhood and colleg ...more
R.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got out this book because it was about women coming together to do something useful and form important friendships. They do form friendships even though they are from vastly different walks of life and are there for each other. The southern expressions used in the story are very humorous – made me laugh out loud at times and I needed to read a few to my husband! I was surprised that the sewing circle wasn't more central to the story . . . only a small part really. The story is much more about ...more
Cid
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very light. Another story of women at a life crossing banding together. I admit that I tend to enjoy those themes so I didn't hate it, but there wasn't much to distinguish it from many other books of a similar kind.
Kristi
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Didn't have high hopes when I found this random book at the beach house I was visiting, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the protagonists, and found it to be an all right story. Although, the title of the book is dumb.
Kate
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great serious/funny book about the South.
Sarah
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a silly read, but I enjoyed very much. It is a "coming-of-age" for a southern woman jilted by her ex-husband.
Sue
Good fun.
Katie
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

How do Battle's characters and their stories reflect current issues and trends in the South, and in America in general?
Well, the book was written about 12 years ago. I was in college at the time so my world was very removed from hers. I am a native Alabamian, but I've always lived in a bigger city whereas Florabama is a small town. I can say that in my own family, we've experienced a situation where one of my relatives had to shut down his own factory because people were able
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Joyce Reynolds-Ward
I liked parts of this book. The characterization of Hilly and Ruth, the still-relevant issues of jobs going overseas and retraining, the elements that still ring true today, but.

But. We don't get to the Ladies Auxiliary and Sewing Circle piece until later on in the book, and the ending is incomplete, flat, and leaves too many loose ends untied. If this were an epic fantasy or space opera, I'd say the author was leaving those pieces loose for a sequel. However, I don't see this book as being able
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Melissa
May 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up from the shelf at the B&B we were staying at in Asheville because the author's name is Lois like my daughter. Got partway through and realized the 4 main characters were 2 indentical sets except one was middle class and one working. One of each pair was traditional marriage, kids etc. while the other one was the "wild" one with lots of men, no kids etc. yet they were best friends. How about a little imagination here? Skipped to the of course happy ending with loves for the sin ...more
Rebecca
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not keep interested in this book and did not finish it.
Alisha
Aug 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just couldn't get into it - admittedly didn't finish it. I wasn't curious at all, and I moved on to something else quite swiftly.
Paulette Buche
I liked the message in this semifeminist little book
Marsha Paul
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Great book!
Graceann
I enjoy Lois Battle's writing, for the most part. It's usually undemanding, has an interesting story, and can be enjoyed without a need to Google meanings of words or finding out more about historic events (that's fun, too, but that's for when I have more ambition).

Florabama etc., is about women who have been thrown out of work thanks to their factory going out of business, and their new college counselor who is starting over after her husband squanders their savings and then abandons her.

There
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Elizabeth Castro
The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle story is a cute chick lic friendship story, but falls short with almost no ending. I don't know what becomes of the main character Bonnie (says she'll be okay,) nor the ladies in the sewing circle.
Also the story is dripping with racism, at times so distracting from the plot line, I just wondered, what in the world?
"She'd missed the name, but the compulsive and insistent bonhomie with which the dean was stressing their lifelong friendship led he
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Dexter
May 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I wanted to like this book so much. I was totally in love with it when I found it at a thrift store -- everything from the title to the actual plot summary looked interesting. I saw the less than impressed reviews online, but read it anyway.

Maaaaaaaan. Such a disappointment.

None of the characters were all that interesting. They were basically two types of characters: the Bonnies and the Casses. There was the "conservative" polite character (AKA Bonnie) and the bff rough and tough character (AKA
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Barrett
hoo boy, was this one fluffy. granted, i kind of needed that after reading House of Sand and Fog. Make no mistake, if you're from the South particularly, or ever lived there for any length of time, you'll probably see some things in here that ring true. or recognize one of the myriad Southernisms sprinkled throughout. In a nutshell, an Atlanta socialite in the midst of a messy divorce makes a new life for herself in a small town, helping out a group of women recently laid off from their factory ...more
Jennifer
When the Cherished Lady lingerie factory closes in Florabama, AL, Ruthie, Hilly and their former co-workers sign up for classes at the local community college. Their first stop in this new endeavor is with Bonnie Cullman, who has just been hired to run the Displaced Homemakers Program, "where the ex-bra seamstresses of Cherished Lady await her wisdom", as the book cover humorously states. Bonnie is not feeling too wise, though, as she has recently discovered that her unfaithful husband, who she ...more
Jen
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marsha
A solid tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit, The Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary & Sewing Circle features a winning diverse group of women, all of them struggling to deal with life’s large and small adversities. Whether weathering the loss of a job, man, home or family, these women suffer, complain, sink or rise and the best of them realize that you can’t always do it alone and that it’s fine to ask and accept help.

From children to old women, Ms. Battle gives each of these people indi
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Sarah Brehm
I forgot I had written a review of this on Amazon. Felt like adding it here:

It took my a long time to finish the last 70 pages of The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle because I just got bored with the story. Lois Battle has a wonderful writing style, and the characters were well-defined; but style is only one element to a great book. The plot seemed like even it got bored with itself, and all it wanted to do was to find some sort of closure.

It also seemed like Battle couldn't decid
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Elizabeth
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that the author used the term "sotto voce" ad nauseam; I found this to be an enjoying read.

It tells the story of a group of women who find themselves at a turning point in their lives due to a clothing factory relocating "off shore"(an all to common occurance in today's world); how they handle the situation and the choices they make for the future. The main character has also had a personal crisis and life changing event in her life; she comes from a totally different world cul
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