Ann B. Ross's Miss Julia books aren't the sort of thing I usually read. But so many patrons have described just how funny and typically genteel Southern they are I just had to find out for myself. Yes, the book is laugh out funny. And yes, indeed, I know Miss Julia--with her "I would never stoop to gossip, but have your heard....." approach to life.
If you don't know Miss Julia, she is the richest resident of Abbotsville, NC. She came by the money the old fashioned way--she inherited it when her husband died. The money came with a few strings attached however, including a mistress and her child. Miss Julia, genteel southern soul that she is, bit her tongue and took in Hazel Marie and Little Lloyd and, wonderful to tell, became best of friends.
Miss Julia Meets Her Match is the 4th book in the series. Here a shady character named Dwayne Dooley approaches Miss Julia with a plan to build a Christian theme park, "The Walk Where Jesus Walked" theme park, on some land Miss Julia owns. Dwayne turns out to have a mistress who is another former mistress of Miss Julia's dead husband. In order to shelter Little Lloyd from the shame of yet another of her husband's girlfriends (of course, Miss Julia herself couldn't care less!), she stirs up more gossip that the town can deal with.
Of course, all of this is only one small sub-plot of this rambling and charming book. In the end, everyone gets their come-uppance, everyone returns home to family and friends and life goes on in Abbotsville. I listened to the book on tape, read by Claudia Hughes. Ms Hughes captures the voices of the southerners and spirit of southern storytelling. She also does a great job expressing the irony and wit intended by the author.