The daughters were each given traditional names at birth, but soon took on nicknames that suited them better. Belle became “Lil Buck” after her grandfather; Nettie became “Sis;” Rosalie, being born with the same color skin as her mother was called “Big Red.” The fourth daughter was named Christine and became “Sweetie Pie;” and the final baby Elenora was to be henceforth known as “Girlie.”
Readers who grew up with similar backgrounds will probably find a lot to love in Batchelor’s simple but heart-warming story. Like all families, the Turners have their fair share of heartbreak and challenges. But like only the luckiest of families, the Turners successfully recover from their losses and hardships. They may even love each other a little more. The Turners certainly know the magnificent and unique joy that comes from a large, albeit chaotic, family. There is never a dull moment with this family.
Although this book is penned as a novel it reads more like a biography. The author has diligently recounted the history of his Southern family. Dates, locations, births and deaths are well-recorded and the author has done a good job of including relevant American history along the way as well.
Also, there is the added bonus of quite a few recipes. The ‘Supper Cookbook’ seems to be the perfect homage to Miss Fannie Mae. She has a recipe for every meal, Southern style. Baked Ham, Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Lemon Pie and Berry, Banana, and Peach Trifle are but a few of the recipes included in Batchelor’s book.
Readers will most likely keep this book in the kitchen instead of the library. “Miss Fannie Mae’s Girls: A Southern Tale of Life Lost and Love Found” by Larry Batchelor is a very sweet book, and the love for the author’s family comes through loud and clear.
Miss Fannie Mae’s Girls: A Southern Tale of Life Lost and Love Found
3L Publishing (2011)
Reviewed by Jennifer Gooch Hummer for Reader Views (11/12)