by Laura Lane McNeal
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 ...
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Our group found this to be a great book for discussion. We could really feel for the main characters and felt that New Orleans itself was a character in the story.
Dollbaby captures your imagination. A very easy read that you don\'t want to put down. Great great book!!
It was an interesting story that brought together two different lifestyles during a difficult time in the south. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and finding out how their lives were so entwined.
Loved the descriptiveness pushed by the author. So easy to visualize the scenes as you were reading. I am from NOLA and it was fun to be so familiar with all of the places they went. Awesome story that held my attention.
An easy read. I loved the story line and the twist and turns it takes to teach you about the character and I loved each character. The author really brings to life the city of NOLA.
I loved reading this book. The new information about the family was introduced perfectly. One thing led to another and I would say this is one of my favorite books in three years of reading for book clubs. Thank you for a fun book to read.
Dollbaby was an easy read, interesting, but not a book that I felt like I could not put down (which is a great book to read at some points in your life!).
The 1960's, New Orleans, a matriarch, a girl without a daddy, housekeepers, families, and secrets.
Ibby was moved to her grandmother's home after her father passed away so her mother could have some time to herself. Ibby had never seen her grandmother before nor had she known about her until a week before this move. Ibby was frightened especially since she heard stories about her strict grandmother from her mother.
Ibby met Queenie and Doll before meeting her grandmother. Queenie and Doll are the staff in Grandmother Fannie's house. They are very loving and caring and huddle around Ibby and take good care of her when Fannie can’t.
The characters in DOLLBABY were ones I fell in love with along with Ibby, whose real name was Liberty Bell. Ibby was an understandably sad young lady for a twelve-year old with a heartbreaking story.
Queenie and Doll were warmhearted, Fannie was rough on the outside but loving on the inside with a past that was kept secret as well as a few other secrets that made the ending superb. Birdelia was sweet even though she was kept out of sight most of the time and had a story of her own. Well…just about every character had a story that was kept under wraps.
If you love Southern fiction with a Gone-With-The-Wind feeling, you will love DOLLBABY. We the reader follow Fannie, Ibby, Queenie, Doll, and Birdelia in their day-to-day activities during the time of The Civil Rights Movement.
DOLLBABY is an engaging, beautiful debut novel with amazing description, terrific, authentic characters, and a true-to-life storyline. The cover itself will pull you in and will keep you reading.
Historical fiction fans and fans of family sagas will not want to put DOLLBABY down and will miss the characters when the book ends. The ending was filled with revelations and proves family is everything even though they might have secrets.
Add DOLLBABY to your reading list this summer. I know you will love it too. It is going to be a favorite read for this year. The characters are what made DOLLBABY special.
I truly enjoyed this book. I hope you can read it too. 5/5
This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
"Dollbaby" begins in 1964 introducing us to Liberty "Ibby" Bell, who has just tragically lost her father and is being left by her mother in New Orleans, a city Ibby has never visited before, to stay with a grandmother Ibby has never met before. Fannie is certainly not the typical grandmotherly type and has several skeletons in her closet. Ibby becomes close with Queenie and her daughter Dollbaby, who have run Fannie's household for many years. The story follows Ibby, Fannie, Queenie and Dollbaby through the Civil Rights movement as well as protests over the Vietnam War and the other highs and lows of everyday life.
The author does an excellent job of capturing the culture and ambiance of New Orleans. The map noting various locations in New Orleans which are discussed in the novel was much appreciated.
Dollbaby is Laura Lane McNeal's first novel and we definitely look forward to her next novel. We thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to book clubs. If you enjoyed The Help by Kathryn Stockett or Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall or Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, put this book on your "to-read" list.
The many layers peeled away as you progressed thru the story reminds you that you never really know the trials and tribulations faced by others and how they shape the people they become.
Fun to read book with lots of southern charm. Not only do you fall in love with the main character Libby, but also many of the others too. Although there are some sad and moving parts to this story it ends with a very satisfying conclusion.
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