What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle
SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Fiction set in the South, female protagonist - features Ganesh [s]

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 3 comments This was a wonderful book I read probably 5-8 years ago. It would probably be considered chick lit now. Not sure when it was published. The protagonist was in her 40s maybe and just went through a divorce. She moved down to the south and started over. She found a little figurine of Ganesh, and he became her totem almost (he's the Lord of Obstacles). I might be getting some of the smaller details wrong, but that's the gist of it. She goes to work in a factory and meets the women there and I think she started some employment agency when the factory shut down. It's a wonderful book and I would love to read it again - I just can't think of the name!


message 2: by April Ann (last edited Jan 02, 2009 06:48PM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments The Life and Love of a She-devil by Fay Weldon

"Humble and unassuming, Ruth, a long-suffering wife and mother, is ditched by her husband and decides to go after what she wants--power, money, sex, and revenge."

Life and Loves of a She Devil by Fay Weldon

Roseanne Barr starred in the Movie She Devil and I think Meryll Streep was in it too. Cute movie.

message 3: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 3 comments unfurtunately, that's not it. her ex-husband never reappears in the book and it's definitely not focused on revenge. thanks for suggestinf it though!

message 4: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 3 comments solved my own question! It's:

The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle
By Battle, Lois

From the author of "Storyville" and "Bed and Breakfast" comes a funny, heartfelt, and poignant novel about the surprising power of a group of small-town women when the local lingerie factory closes its doors.

The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle

Review by Sharon Galligar Chance

Southern Belle. The words conjure up thoughts of genteel, tea-sipping ladies or feisty harridans the likes of Scarlett O'Hara. But these days, Southern women are a rich combination of both sets of characteristics, and they are depicted with insight in Lois Battle's new book, . Atlanta socialite Bonnie Duke Cullman has come to a life-altering crossroads in her life. Her husband has run out on her for a younger woman. To add insult to injury, he has also spent their life savings and filed for bankruptcy. Accustomed to a country club existence, she has never done a real day's work in her life. So, for the first time in her life, 50-year-old Bonnie is financially strapped and facing life alone.

Hope for Bonnie comes in the form of a position at a tiny community college in Florabama, Alabama. The Cherished Lady lingerie factory is being closed down, and the college hires Bonnie to run its program for displaced homemakers and workers. In a blind-leading-the-blind proposition, Bonnie is supposed to help the factory workers, many of whom have never known another job, figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. She starts out by gathering them into a weekly group session to help everyone air their opinions and concerns, and begins to learn just how hard life is for these women.

Determined to help the ladies better their lives, Bonnie calls upon friends from her former life to help set up a cottage industry using their skills as seamstresses to design a line of unique children's clothes. The project is a huge success, but teeters on the brink of disaster when one of their own runs off with the first big check. But with resolve that surprises even the most skeptical in the group, the women regroup and come back to prove they are capable of overcoming the odds.

Lois Battle, a South Carolina writer with seven previous novels to her credit, has gathered a delightful group of women in this heartwarming tale. There's patient, saintly Ruth, who has always wanted to be a teacher; the hot-tempered, slightly bigoted Hilly who finds the second love of her life in a Mexican restaurant; and Roxy, the irresponsible young mother who takes any job she can get, as long as it doesn't involve work. But the star of the story is Bonnie, who proves to herself that she is capable of overcoming her own obstacles to find a happier life and, in doing so, develops a healthy respect for herself. She even finds a little love along the way.

provides a genuine glimpse into the lives of modern-day Southern women. Don't be surprised to find there is a little tea-sipping (and a little Scarlett) in each of these resilient ladies.

Sharon Galligar Chance is the senior book reviewer for the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas.

© 2003, All rights reserved, BookPage

Publisher Comments

"We've been screwed blued and tattooed", quips Hilly Pruitt at hearing the news of the closing of Cherished Lady, the local lingerie factory. Hilly, along with many other women in Florabama, have been relying on the factory for their livelihood for years. As Hilly always says; "Life is like a dog sled: If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes".

The same day the plant closes, Bonnie Duke Cullman begins her drive through a Gulf Coast storm to the first real job of her life. Her country-club-and-charity-committee existence has come to an end as abruptly as her marriage. In short, she too has been downsized. But luckily for Bonnie, she does have a job to go to: She's been hired to run a "Displaced Homemakers Program" for a podunk community college where the ex-bra seamstresses of Cherished Lady await her wisdom.

In an unlikely alliance, Bonnie and the Florabama women join together in a midlife survival course where the events of a single year forever alter the way they see the world and their places in it. Despite their very different lineages, they find common ground in the longings and dreams we all share: for community, identity, security, and for love.

message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1396 comments Thanks Jenn, I'll move this thread to the proper place and rename it. If you want, you can add the book to this group's bookshelf.

back to top