Today I'm recommending a series, The Miss Julia books by Ann B. Ross. Pictured are the first two books, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind and Miss Julia Takes Over. The heroine of these stories is Julia Springer, a recently bereaved, mature and wealthy lady who lives in a small town in North Carolina. A strong-willed woman with standards and a pillar of her local Presbyterian church, she's not stuffy, but she likes things done a certain way and she's not afraid to tell you so. She lives with her dead husband's mistress and her 9-year-old son, by the way, who's the spitting image of his father. Kind of an unusual arrangement? Well, these two were sprung on Miss Julia shortly after her husband's funeral and she was pretty stricken at the time, but she's not going to let the whole town pity her and talk behind her back. Besides, Miss Julia's so mad at her dead husband that she doesn't care what people say about him, so she holds her head up high and parades her husband's illicit affair right out front where everyone can see them. In fact, she becomes so fond of Hazel Marie, who's had a truly tough life up until now, and Little Lloyd that she forces her friends to accept them too.
These stories have larger than life, quirky characters and funny conflicts, since Miss Julia's generally fighting other people's battles. If you've enjoyed Fannie Flagg's humorous books about small town life in the deep south as much as I have, I think you'll appreciate this series too. And the author, Ann B. Ross, has written nineteen Miss Julia books so far, so you can look forward to having lots to read.
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