Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
Reviewed by Barbara Chisholm, Fri., Sept. 10, 1999
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mindby Ann B. Ross
Morrow, $23 hard
Just picking up this novel of a feisty Southern matron finding her core of steel inspires the reader to begin humming the theme to Driving Miss Daisy (and the publicity for the comic novel hits us pretty hard with the Steel Magnolias comparison). Written in the first person, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind follows the long-delayed blossoming of a childless widow of a small-town Southern banker. Miss Julia has spent a lifetime trying to comply with the rigid and austere lifestyle of her ultra-proper husband. Upon his demise, she discovers that a) she's loaded (her years of penny-pinching were unnecessary) and b) her uptight husband fathered a son with an apparent floozie. The latter discovery is made abruptly when the mother of the bastard dumps the child on Miss Julia's doorstep. These revelations take place within the first seven pages and from there we're off! The fast-paced book reads like a movie script (as if Ms. Ross didn't know). Have fun casting the parts as you read.