Aunt Nellie B –by Dixiane Hallaj
221 Pages / 2758 KB
Suitable for eReaders: Yes
If I didn't know better, I'd swear Ms. Hallaj has known me all my life, and had access to many of my early memories – and late ones, too.
The narrator of the story, Charli (short for Charlotte Ann) is a precocious child who keeps journals. She knows there seems to be a curse on her family, that all the women have several husbands – either through divorce or death and remarriage. She is not privy to the conversations when her mother and aunts get together for coffee and gossip, so develops a strategy to make herself "invisible" so she can listen in. She hears a great deal of adult conversation that she really doesn't understand, and of course, can ask no one about.
I love the voice of Charli, especially as the child. She reminds me of my BFF, Leslie, and me when we were that age. Especially the scene where Charli and her cousin, close to the same age, are together at the table and play 'twins' by picking up their food at the same time, chewing at the same time, swallowing the same time. Leslie and I were known to do that, too ;-) Synchronized eating?
Leslie and I grew apart, and marriages stepped in, with the name changes, etc., and we only recently found each other again. And the 'twinness' is still there. There were absences in Aunt Nellie B, too, but never loss of love.
The story takes place over a span of several years, so it is necessary to pay attention to the dates Ms. Hallaj uses at the beginning of chapters and sections, though it's not nearly as difficult to follow as some other books that do the same thing.
Charli makes some bad choices in her life, as do the other women of her family, but they are always there for each other, giving their love and support through, as the cliché says, thick and thin.
This is by no means a romance, but it certainly is, in the best of all possible ways, a story of Love triumphing over all. In fact, when I finished reading it, I called Leslie, and told her about it, so she, too, will get a copy to read and enjoy it as much as I have.
A marvelous read, great for bedtime, or a one-sit read like I did.