Dear God, I look forward to the return of your Only Son Jesus. But could you please wait until after Christmas because I really, really, really want an Enchanted Evening Barbie Doll.
Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming
Today’s a big day–it marks the start of the Decatur Book Festival (or DBF for short) in Georgia. Yesterday we shared a little bit about Kathleen Koch, author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered, who is attending the festival. But today we want to share a little bit about Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming, one of our distributed titles. NewSouth publishes this book by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, who will be attending the DBF as well. For Rheta’s appearance information at the festival, go here.
Rheta Grimsley Johnson has covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. Enchanting Evening Barbie is a collection of these stories, ranging from childhood memories of pre-interstate trips in the family station wagon to visit foot-washing Baptist relatives to young-girl fixations on Barbie dolls. Rheta covers it all, from the simultaneous exuberance and proto-feminist doubts of young marriage to the aches of loves lost through divorce and death.
And I have to say, Enchanting Evening Barbie has been one of the funniest and most heartfelt books I’ve read in a long time. On top of that, Rheta’s writing seems timeless–she grew up in an era before mine, but I can completely relate to her stories. Some are serious and even painful, but Rheta’s witty voice gives the book the light-handed comedy it needs. It’s almost like a handful of life lessons, but someone else is doing the learning and passing it on to you (thank goodness!).
Want an example? Good, because this excerpt is just for you. And if it doesn’t convince you to agree with what I’ve just said about this book, you have to let me know why. (But I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it so much you’ll just have to head over to the DBF to meet this charming author.)
Happy Labor Day weekend from the folks at Blair!