- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2150 KB
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670014737
- Publisher: Viking Adult (July 3 2014)
- Sold by: Penguin Group USA
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00G3L7X4Q
A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets
When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.
For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.
For fans of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The Help, Dollbaby brings to life the charm and unrest of 1960s New Orleans through the eyes of a young girl learning to understand race for the first time.
By turns uplifting and funny, poignant and full of verve, Dollbaby is a novel readers will take to their hearts.
“In this tender coming-of-age novel, McNeal brings to life a place, an era, and an amazing cast of strong, larger-than-life characters. Heartrending, captivating, and ultimately, triumphant.”
—Cassandra King, New York Times bestselling author of Moonrise
“McNeal’s Dollbaby is such an impressive debut—a powerful roux of family drama, long-simmering secrets and resentments, and ultimately, forgiveness and redemption. Deeply evocative, with memorable characters, Dollbaby belongs on the keeper shelf along with The Help and The Secret Life of Bees.”
—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Ladies' Night
“Deeply southern and evocative, Laura Lane McNeal’s beautifully written debut, Dollbaby, takes us back to a not-so-long ago time when we were learning to look through different eyes at the fabric of our society, race, youth and family."
—Susan Crandall, author of Whistling Past the Graveyard
"This flavorful and enthralling novel brilliantly captures New Orleans during the civil rights era. It's a deeply personal tale about growing up and searching for family as well as a provocative exploration of race and kinship. I found it both thrilling and poignant."
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs
About the Author
Laura Lane McNeal grew up In New Orleans where people laugh a lot, talk with their hands, love good music, good food, and will make up any excuse for a party.
After receiving two undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University (a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Business Administration), she went on to earn an MBA from Tulane University. She spent most of her career in advertising, working for firms in New York and Dallas, before returning to New Orleans where she started her own marketing consulting firm and became a free-lance writer as well as a decorative artist. In 2005, when the devastation of Hurricane Katrina left her with having to rebuild her life, Laura seized the opportunity to fulfill her lifetime dream of becoming a writer. She hasn’t stopped since.
Laura resides in New Orleans and is married with two sons. DOLLBABY is her first published novel. She is presently working on a second novel.
I loved this book! Great characters with a great story set in a delightful location.
Family. The heart of Dollbaby is the family connections that exist between Ibby and Fannie Bell and the black family that look after them. Dollbaby is set in New Orleans during the turbulent times of the civil rights era and the Vietnam War. Dollbaby explores the divisions between blacks and whites in New Orleans and the changes that are happening in 1960s society.
Dollbaby is story about secrets. And locked rooms. And mental illness. But it is not a dark tale. It is uplifting as the characters are fascinatingly fleshed out by author Laura Lane McNeal. It is a love story about family relationships. Loved the ending! Fabulous!
Highly recommend Dollbaby.