I finished the 35th book for book challenge. It was The Secret Lives Of The Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton.
Eadie, Lavonne, and Nita are back. Nita is marrying Jimmy Lee Motes. Eadie is living with Trevor in New Orleans where Trevor is writing novels. He has sold his first novel and is writing his second and touring to promote his book. Eadie is blocked artistically and is depressed, eating Mondo Logs and sleeping. Lavonne is working at the deli.
At Nita’s wedding, Lavonne convinces Eadie to come back to Ithaca for awhile since she seems to be able to draw while she’s in Ithaca. She will stay with Lavonne. Nita has invited her ex-mother-in-law Virginia to the wedding. Virginia is determined to find out what the girls did to the men on their trip to Montana but she can’t get Charles or Redmon, whom she married for his money, to tell her. She is, however, plotting her own revenge. She is ingratiating herself by taking Nita’s daughter, her granddaughter, Whitney, on shopping trips to Atlanta and promising her a car when she turns 15.
Redmon offers Jimmy Lee a deal to go in with him on a construction project on The Island. He need $600,000 to buy in. Jimmy Lee asks Nita for the money and she gives it to him, even though it’s most of her money. She is working on a paper for school on the stories of domestic workers in the South. She is interviewing a woman who used to work for Virginia’s family on The Island and who knew Virginia as a young girl and young woman. She tells Nita all about Virginia and her sad life.
Eadie is doing her art again but she misses Trevor and flies off every other weekend to meet him somewhere in the country. They often fight. She doesn’t know what to do. She and Lavonne make plans to go to the Kudzu Ball again. Lavonne has made friends with Joe Solomon who regularly stops by the deli. He rides a bicycle and works at IBM. He and Lavonne start seeing each other and have a good relationship.
Then Virginia files for custody of Whitney and a court case ensues. She learns the truth about the hunting trip to Montana and decides to take her revenge. She calls the state about Indian artifacts on The Island and gets the construction site closed down. Jimmy lee has lost all of Nita’s money. Jimmy Lee takes off. Nita ia in a custody battle with Virginia. Her son Logan tells her he will also go and live with Virginia and that will make Virginia give both children back to their mother. Logan has a punk rock band.
Nita also knows that Virginia had a child out of wedlock before she was married to the Judge. The girls go to get out the facts and try to find out who the child is. They know the father was Hampton Boone. They find out the child is Grace, a reporter from the newspaper with whom Virginia has tangled on numerous occasions.
Virginia is throwing a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at her home that will be televised on Gracious Southern Living. She has invited about 60 people to the buffet and wants desperately to impress people. But everything starts to go wrong. Logan’s band is playing. Eadie and Lavonne show up to crash the party in their Kuzu Ball dresses. And everybody, including Virginia, is getting drunk. And all the secrets come tumbling out.
This is a fun read. It is about revenge, Virginia’s revenge on the girls, the girls’ revenge against Virginia. It is really amusing to read how they discover Virginia’s secrets. And you hope that Eadie and Trevor work out their differences and make their marriage work. And you have hope for Nita and Jimmy Lee too. And also for Lavonne and Joe. And yes, even for Virginia and Redmon.