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Cold Sassy Tree W/Conn

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  84,683 Ratings  ·  3,440 Reviews
The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around--fast.

On July 5, 1906, scandal breaks in the small town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, when the proprietor of the general store, E. Rucker Blakeslee, elopes with Miss Love Simpson. He is barely three weeks a widower, and she is only half his age and a Yankee to boot. As their marriage inspires a whir
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Paperback, 421 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Holt McDougal (first published 1984)
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April Layne I agree with Melodie. The chapter she is describing could be disturbing for a younger reader (under 12 maybe) but it is between a married couple.…moreI agree with Melodie. The chapter she is describing could be disturbing for a younger reader (under 12 maybe) but it is between a married couple. There are no f-bombs or really other cuss words. There are many euphemisms like 'gall-darn-it' and other expressions that have gone out of fashion. I liked it and my 14 year old daughter likes it. The boy is 14 in the book and does have sexual 'feelings' toward several characters but it's a coming of age type description, not graphic. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ebookwormy1
For years, I had heard the best American novel set in the South was "Gone with Wind" or "To Kill A Mockingbird," or more recently, "The Help" and certainly these books have their contribution to literature (you can read my reviews if you'd like), but BY FAR, my favorite book ever set in the Southern United States is this one and only gem by the lovely Olive Ann Burns. A joy to read, and re-read, and share with all your friends, I give you my review of a story that is a treasured friend...
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Chrissie
Do you enjoy a sweet story? Are you a religious person with deep faith? Do you enjoy books set in the South at the turn of the century? Then this book is probably a good choice for you.

My own response to the two first questions is not affirmative, and that is why I cannot give it more than two stars. No, it is not a bad book. It is fine, it’s OK………if a bit boring. Although it gives a pretty good depiction of small town life in Georgia, it says nothing about racial inequities which of course sti
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Megan
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sissy
Recommended to Megan by: Grandma Hazel
Shelves: fiction, favorites
My grandmother's favorite book of all time, so I have always wanted to read it. This is such a great book. It nearly ripped my heart out for making me think of my Grandmother. It is about a 14 year old boy in 1906 Cold Sassy, Georgia. The book centers on Will Tweedy's relationship with his grandfather and the small town scandal that begins when his grandfather remarries a young woman two weeks after his wife's passing. The narrative is so witty and touching and it is written in such a strong sou ...more
Cher
Mar 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 star - I really hated it.

A long, boring soap opera about small minded, judgmental, gossipy people in a backwoods town that specializes in making a full blown scandal over every petty incident. It includes something for everyone: racism, sexism, chauvinism, religious prejudice, and "yankeeism". It is like an all you can read buffet of ignorance.

But there's something for the romantics too! A charming love story about a vile old adulterer, whom after lusting for years after a woman young enough t
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Emily
Apr 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually really liked this book, but I think I enjoyed the cultural and historical aspects of it more than the story, to be frank. Burns paints a wonderful picture of life in a small and changing southern town in the early 20th century. The depiction of the social tensions between the "lintheads" who work in the cotton mills and the rest of the town hit the nail on the head, in terms of the southern industrial mill era. We also see the coming of the automobile and the way that the town is stil ...more
Barbara
This is the portrayal of the town of Cold Sassy, named for the huge Sassafras tree in its midst, which the inhabitants had frequently debated on renaming. The time period is set in the early 1900's in the South. Initially I was annoyed by the use of the local vernacular and associated grammatical errors, but I gradually adjusted to it and accepted that it was an effective and necessary factor to the telling of the tale.

The nub of the story is the coming of age of 14 year old Will. The plot devel
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Susan
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book but it fell a little flat, it had some good parts but I was expecting more because of the outstanding reviews. The story is told out of the eyes of a young boy from a privileged family. All of the characters lead back to his Grandfather and his fortune. Just a little trite for me. I think I was ruined by the absolutely wonderful bestseller, "The Saving of CeeCee Honeycutt", another book set in the South.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This was a good, slow moving book. I know that sentence didn't make sense but it does when you talk about this book.
Tiffany
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe Janette only gave this book 3 stars! I love this book, it's so delightful, the characters are so human with their fears, and pettiness and prejudices and lusts. It had a lot of humor in it as well, like when the grandpa decided eloped with the millner (hat maker) 2 weeks after the grandma died, and his excuse was, "she's as dead as she's ever gonna be!" But we didn't doubt his devotion to the grandma, because he completely lined her grave with cut roses from her rose garden. It's ...more
Irishcoda
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is so much to love about this book. The characters are vibrant, the language is rich and there are good life's lessons throughout--but it's not preachy. This is a story told with lots of humor although it does have it's tear-jerker moments. Young Will Tweedy is 14 at the turn of the century and is living in the town of Cold Sassy, Georgia. His grandfather causes an uproar in this sleepy little town by eloping with the beautiful young employee in his store. That's bad enough but what really ...more
Linda M
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela
One day in Geometry, one of my classmates was raving about this book. Now, she wasn't really an avid reader, so I figured that hey, if she loved it and it got her to finish the book, it's probably pretty good.

Fast forward more years than I'd care to admit and I've finally read it. Oh my. I am so, so disappointed. I understand that a lot of people love this book--and that's great! I'm not attacking you or judging you or anything. I'm just saying that I really, really didn't like Cold Sassy Tree.

T
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Dawn (& Ron)
It is a shame the literary world lost the talents of Ms. Burns so early, but what a wonderful gem she left us. I first read this book years ago, only to learn that the author passed away while writing her follow up. This book still remains one of my all time favorites and it is the only other novel, besides "To Kill A Mockingbird", that weaves a spell, through a child's point of view, of a fading southern way of life. It shows both the idyllic southern childhood of a small town and the sadness o ...more
Kimber
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book for a couple of reasons but first - I gave it only 4 stars because I had a hard time with the southern writing (trying to do the accent), it was a little distracting for me.

What I did like was some of the religious views taught - what might Jesus mean by 'ask and ye shall receive', the view of death and mourning. It made me look a little more at myself and see which character I fit - the gossips of the town, the drama queen mother, the one willing to press forward cheerfully no
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Jessica
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful work of Southern literature, set in Georgia in the late 1800s. I actually enjoyed this even more than I expected. It will definitely be a new love of mine, in the same ranks as Gone with the Wind!
Lizzie Jones
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I can't help but love Rucker Blakeslee with my whole heart, along with every other character in this book. This is the witty coming-of-age story of Will Tweedy from Cold Sassy, Georgia. He loves fighting, telling stories, and driving his daddy's cadillac, but most of all he loves his Grandpa Blakeslee. They have a sweet relationship and although the story is filled with minor scandal (1920's deep-south kind of scandal) and intrigue, the focus of the book is the relationship between a grandpa and ...more
Julie
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cold Sassy Tree was Olive Ann Burns's debut novel, published as she turned 60, and I can tell you, she does not disappoint the reader. She was a seasoned writer, but not a novelist, and clearly, she knew how to tell a story.

This book represents everything I love about reading and writing. There's an "old school" feel here, an indescribable quality that takes me back to sitting in trees as a child, my back supported by the trunk and my young mind supported by whatever precious book I held proppe
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Kelsey
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Kelsey by: Keri Garcia
I read this one a few weeks ago and I loved the characters in this story because I could see a little bit of myself in each one of them. It is a simple story about a boy named Will Tweedy in a small Georgia town in the early 1900s whose Grandpa remarries the young and very attractive milliner only three weeks after losing his wife.

The plot was so easy going and I really felt like I was watching a movie. Burns did a great job with the southern accent - it must have taken her forever to spell eac
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
I know many liked this book. Though I did finish it, it just wasn't for me. First of all, there was too much southern dialect in the writing. I'd willingly accept all dialogue to be in dialect, but much - though not all - of the first person narrative was also written in dialect. Near the beginning of the book, and several times throughout, were references to "damnyankees". As an Alaskan, I understand I don't qualify as a "yankee", but my great grandfather proudly served in the Union Army and I ...more
Teri
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Such a sweet story. I couldn't help comparing it with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because #1 they both have 'tree' in the title and #2 they're both a "snapshot" of life as told through the eyes of a young person. But where Tree was such a chore to read, Cold Sassy was a pleasure. The characters were vivid and fun and while they had their share of troubles they didn't drag down the entire book. To top it all off I got to read with a southern accent, yes!!
Chelsey
I was extremely excited to read Cold Sassy Tree. Southern fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres and certainly close to my heart since I am from the South. I didn’t know anything about the book before reading the summary. Upon reading the summary, I anticipated a heavily plot driven story about the events after Mr. Blakeslee marries Miss Simpson.

The characters of Cold Sassy made the book for me, despite the fact I hated most of them. In a way, though, I think the reader was supposed to ha
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Lisa
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and it's one I think I will remember for a long time. Set in small town Georgia 1906, it somehow reminded me of Annie Barrow's The Truth According to Us--the same realistic writing style, small-town family drama, and spot-on characterization with a rich understanding of human nature. It's a slow, relaxing, thought-provoking read.
Becky
3.5 stars. I really liked this book, but I found it much easier to listen to this book than to read it. I grew up in the south, but I still had a hard time with the vernacular as it was written in this book. The 'should/would/could of' ones got me the most, more than 'terreckly' in place of 'directly', 'cain't' in place of 'can't' etc, because I kept thinking it sounds exactly the same if you write 'could've', etc, so why purposefully write it wrong? Listening to it was much less distracting.

I
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Andy Marr
Dec 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I can't describe how much I HATE doing it, but I had to quit this book a third of the way through. I'd expected, naively I suppose, for a bitter sweet, heartfelt novel along the lines of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (the blurb on the front cover hinted that fans of Lee's book were in for a treat); instead, I was soon driven mad by a contrived plot, full of nauseating sentiment and cheesy melodrama. The plot is so contrived, in fact, that the narrator is constantly unable to explain how events he desc ...more
Steven
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic characters and a good plot. I loved the setting, the old South, the gossipy small town and the funny, quircky, but very believable people. This is an excellent picture of life at the turn of the century, including the advent of the automobile, electric lights and indoor plumbing. It's also an interesting coming-of-age tale told by a 14-year-old boy.

This book is excellent. I was just a little surprised by the dark turn it takes toward the end. Primarily because my kids had enjoyed list
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Mary
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished Cold Sassy Tree.Excellent "tiny" insights into human nature in the 1906 South which speak volumes. Told thru the eyes of a young boy, the story begins around the death of his grandmother. This observant and sensitive boy seems to understand more than most of the wagging tongues in his little town. The book unwinds through an absolutely crucial year in the life of this boy--the beginning of manhood through experiencing pain and understanding. Someone wrote, it's a funny book about d ...more
Lisa Kay
★★★★✩ Turn of the century coming-of-age story told a young adolescent boy, Will Tweedy, who sides with his curmudgeonly grandfather, a store owner bent on marrying a younger woman. I don’t know which is worse in the eyes of this small town Georgian life: the fact that she is “practically a Yankee” or it is only two weeks after the death of his beloved grandmother.

I had mixed feelings about some parts of it as there are some racial words and mores that, in all honesty, were prevalent for that era
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Mag
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, georgia
Another book on my quest to learn more about Georgia and culture of the South. And a great and enjoyable read it was. Likeable, quirky characters, a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour as well as swift yet poignant enough action. No wonder that it was made into a movie. I can imagine it can be very good.
The story is narrated through the eyes of a precocious fourteen year old, and takes place in Cold Sassy, a small town in Georgia in 1906 and 1907. It starts with a patriarch of the family announcing t
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Emily
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of all time. It hits on all cylinders -- it's hilariously funny, it's poignant, it's sad, it's witty, it's a historical snapshot, it's quintessentially southern -- and perhaps those with a similar background will understand it best. Maybe you can hear your relatives saying similar things.

I read it in 9th grade b/c it was required reading, and I was never the same...I have read it multiple times. I "made" my husband read it when we were dating. The author and I were born on the
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Karli
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes you to the South like no other. The story is simple and funny as it follows a boy's confusion over his grandfather marrying a young bride right after his grandmother dies. But the setting will transport you to a lazier, simpler time of dusty railroad tracks, porch swings and the corner store. I loved it!
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Around the Year i...: Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns 2 13 May 25, 2016 07:38AM  
Birds of a Feather: Cold Sassy Tree p. 1-100 8 12 May 19, 2016 11:24AM  
Fiction Lover's B...: * Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns 1 2 Aug 18, 2015 04:12PM  
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FROM GEORGIA ENCYCLOPEDIA WEBSITE:
Olive Ann Burns was a professional writer, journalist, and columnist for most of her life. She published two novels, one posthumously, and for many years was a staff writer for Atlanta newspapers and the Atlanta Journal Magazine. Her most notable achievement was "Cold Sassy Tree", a novel that describes rural southern life and a young boy's coming-of-age at the tu
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More about Olive Ann Burns...

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“But to mourn, that's different. To mourn is to be eaten alive with homesickness for the person.” 153 likes
“Ask and it shall be given you,'" I began. "'Seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.' We have the same message in the Book of Saint John," I said, sounding for all the world like a preacher...."
Well, but how could I just stop there? Those words were worse than nothing if I didn't tell what they meant to Grandpa. Looking at the long rough box, I spoke timid, in a mumbled voice. Not preachified at all. "Grandpa didn't think Jesus meant, by that, that we should ast God for things, or for special favors. He said we could trust that in the nature of things, without astin', we'll get lots of blessin's and happy surprises and maybe a miracle or two. When Jesus said ast and you'll get it, He meant things of the spirit, not the flesh. Right now for instance, I could ast, 'Lord please raise Grandpa from the dead,' but it wouldn't happen. But I can say, 'Please, God, comfort me,' and I'll get heart's ease. Grandpa said Jesus meant us to ast for hope, forgiveness, and all that. Ast, 'Hep us not be scared, hep us not be greedy, give us courage to try." I was really carried away. "Ast any such and God will give it to you. But don't ast Him not to let fire burn, or say spare me from death. At least, uh, that's what Grandpa said.”
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