Sunday, May 17, 2020

5/17/20 ”Little Tea” by Claire Fullerton

Print Length: 252 pages
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction (May 1, 2020)
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Sold by: Services LLC

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.


Southern Fiction genre is new to me and I have quickly fallen in love with this style and subject matter of storytelling. It is a genre I love for its quirky and fun to read about characters that are full of sass, full of independent women with strong and unique personalities, life-long friendships, and a deeply rooted family legacy stories in a setting I enjoy reading about. The dialogue is superb with the addition of the southern colloquialism, the story will immerse you into the story. 

Claire Fullerton wrote a beautiful story set in two timelines. The current one telling the story of three friends - Remmy a veterinarian, Ava their flighty friend in marital distress and Celia from Malibu, California with a complex past story that she would rather leave behind - told through Celia's perspective. The other timeline picks up the story from the 1980's that tells of Celia's history set in Mississippi and alongside her best friend, Little Tea. I enjoyed the Historical Fiction aspect of the story and really enjoyed going back to the past to really learn about the characters' back stories. 

The portrayal of a very narrow minded southern culture that was cultivated within the lives of the people were eye opening to me. I loved how Fullerton addressed issues of friendship, love, marriage and second chances. The story was well written, had beautifully developed strong and unique characters that I loved reading about. This was a truly enjoyable Southern Fiction, Women's Fiction and Domestic Drama novel that I recommend.


Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970's Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers' Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire's first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire's 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and a finalist in the Chanticleer Review's Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary

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