Thursday, 12 June 2014

Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady - Florence King




I have no idea how I came by this book, (I know that a bookie friend sent me a copy to read but I don't know where I read about it first) but I am so glad I found it. What a charmer! Based on fact, this is the coming of age of Florence in the 1950s, describing her family, her friends and her lovers with great style and humour. She wanted to graduate in French Language, and found herself at a college that "didn't do" that. She found herself in a group of girls who only wanted a husband - she didn't. She found several lovers where the sex was more important than the person. Failed Southern Lady? That's because her grandmother ached for her to be just that, a southern lady - something she had never acheived with Forence's mother, so guess what, she tried it (unsuccessfully) on Florence. The discriptions of conversations involving sex are gems - her grandmother, when confronted with anything that involved penetration, would change the subject by always saying "your grandfather was such a gentleman" - a sort of code for "he never bothered me much! I don't think I would have picked this book up in a bookshop, so I must have read someone else's views, and I am so glad I did. The cover shown is the UK paperback.... I found two American covers, neither of which had very much to do with the contents of the book - one has bare legs up in the air, wearing a garter and on the feet a pair of stiletto heeled red slingbacks; the other shows a solitary walking boot and a flower (magnolia). Take your pick, but do take the book. You won't regret it and and you may even learn something!