April 5, 2013

Retro Friday: Savannah Trilogy by Denise Hildreth

{Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at anytime!}

Today I'm talking about Savannah. A woman who is funny and nice and talkative and insecure and quirky! And still learning about herself and who she truly is (hence the insecurity), while trying as hard as she can not to end up just like her mother. She's the protagonist in this wonderful trilogy by Denise Hildreth, which consists of Savannah From Savannah, Savannah Comes Undone, and Savannah By The Sea.  She has spent most of her life trying to distance herself from her southern mother (yes, she grew up in Savannah, Georgia, she's heard all the jokes, now moving on...), but inevitably comes back to the place of her birth. And back to her mother.

Victoria Phillips is unique to say the least. From never going out of the house without every single thing from hair to make-up to outfit to shoes looking perfect, to loving her city so much she named her daughter after it, to chaining herself to a monument of the ten commandments, to befriending other ex-beauty pageant queens........well. What more is there to say? Savannah's relationship with her mother is difficult (she's her mother!) yet loving. In the midst of trying not to be too embarrassed by what her mother may say or do next (don't forget the chaining herself to a monument in front of the courthouse; yes, the TV people think it's terribly newsworthy), Savannah comes to understand all the love and wisdom her mother carries. But it does take a while to get to that understanding. And meanwhile, that means we get loads of fun!

Savannah takes a job working for the Savannah Chronicle as a columnist. Which leads her to meeting Amber, an ex-beauty pageant queen still re-living her glory days who absolutely adores Victoria. She also spends time with Paige, her best friend since forever. And Thomas, her brother. Oh, can't forget Duke, her dad's golden retriever, or her dad either for that matter. They both feature pretty prominently. Joshua becomes pretty important in books two and three as well. (Savannah's rather fond of him, for all that she denies it like crazy. I'm rather fond of him myself! He's a genuinely nice guy and pretty adorable. Why can't I find a Joshua?) We get lots of great southern cooking and lots of great southern accents and phrases, "slow down a tad", "y'all", "oh my stars!". Yeah, I'm a fan of all of those. :)

Filled with amusing characters and Savannah's mile-a-minute talking and thought-processes, this is simply a pleasurable way to spend a few hours. Savannah is such a funny girl, and her view of her world makes for great entertainment. I've re-read this entire series many times. Highly recommended for those who enjoy stories where the characters are what keeps you reading. All the escapades that Savannah gets herself in (and there are plenty let me tell you!), the characters are who bring you back for the next book and the next book until you finally reach the end and are sad. I'd love more details on these people's lives after book three. Who knows what Savannah's getting herself into now? :)

"Anyone with half a pea-pickin' ounce of perception can tell that Vicky and I are nothing alike. We don't talk alike, act alike, or do anything else alike.
And you wouldn't know I was hers by my looks, either. I have two inches on her five-foot-four frame. And I don't think our hair is the same color, although no one really knows what her original hair color was. My hair has always been golden brown and straight as a stick. Vicky has been blond, frosted, and redheaded. The best color of all was when she wanted to be platinum blonde, and woke up the morning of the annual Savannah Chamber of Commerce Ball with the majority of her hair lying broken off on her pillow. But we don't talk about that much.
The only remote proof that Vicky could actually be my mother is that I do, on rare, necessary occasions, feel the need to freely express myself in, shall we say, clear tones. My father, Jake Phillips, has the amazing ability to sit back and breathe before responding. I, however, like Vicky, tend to speak before thought has had a chance to register."

Toodle-loo kangaroos!


  1. You know, I think I heard/read about these way back when and never did read them. Sounds like an amusing, fun set of novels. I'll have to check into possibly reading them. Thanks, Kara! :)

    1. Anytime, Rissi! This trilogy makes me laugh no matter how many times I read them. I think I kind of relate to Savannah. She's a fantastic girl! :)


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