Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc
by Loraine Despres

“Men find themselves the most fascinating subject of any conversation. When in doubt, let him talk about himself.”
from the Southern Belle’s Handbook of Sissy LeBlanc

For Sissy LeBlanc, 14 years is long enough to wait for something to happen. She's been married to Peewee, since she was barely 17. Now she wants to give life a shove and a shake, to smack it like a pinball machine. She just wants an adventure.

God knows she needs one.

Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres When she married Peewee, she’d promised to be a good and faithful wife. Of course it hadn’t been hard to resist temptation, there hadn’t been any, but now... Parker Davidson, her first love, is back in town. And years of lust, jealousy, and family secrets are about to explode in the sound of a gunshot.

Welcome to Gentry, a typically twisted Southern town where nothing is private. It is the perfect stage for the scandalous summer of Sissy LeBlanc.

Witty, irreverent and delightfully sexy, The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc (William Morrow; November 1, 2001; Hardcover) is about the choices we make, the moments we regret, the prejudices we cling to and the rules we live by. Combining the spirit of Shirley Valentine, the warmth of Steel Magnolias and the charm of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc brings to vivid life a place where honey-scented jasmine blooms, muggy July days drip into one another, and an unforgettable cast of colorful, eccentric characters holds sway, including a septuagenarian suffragette and the most evil child since “The Bad Seed.” Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres

Yet alongside her evocative prose, Despres weaves honest and devastating portraits of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism into her colorful tapestry of the American South, a rich story full of humor, surprises and heartbreaks.

Snappy and briskly paced, the story shifts from the present day to 1956 to 1941 and back again to chronicle the life and times of a sassy Southern belle.

Sissy has always found herself surrounded by men; this summer of 1956, she is surrounded by three in particular. The first is the pitiful Peewee LeBlanc, Sissy’s husband and the father of her three children. The second is Parker Davidson, Sissy’s high school boyfriend, tall, dark and Jewish, who has mysteriously popped back into town. And in the background is a third man, shadowy and dangerous and never far from her life. Let the fireworks begin.

Southern Romance Novels by Loraine Despres As always, Sissy is armed with her Southern Belle’s Handbook, her survival manual for life. In it are the secrets she learned from her mother and grandmother. The Handbook is generously peppered with down-home, woman-to-woman advice on how to attract a man, how to tell if he’s good enough, and how to manage him once you’ve got him, because even the best men need a little handling. These tart tips could form the basis of a best-selling novel all by themselves. Sissy offers them for the benefit of all those beautiful Yankees and their modern Southern sisters, who are intelligent, well-educated, worked-out, and miserable.

Loraine Despres says generations of Southern wisdom went into compiling these rules, and she does what all good Southern Belles should—pass her secrets, rules and heart-to-heart humor down to an eager and waiting audience.

Reading Group Guide

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ISBN: 06-8817389-6
NOVEMBER 1, 2001

Perennial Paperback
Paperback $12.95

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Loraine's Bio    The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc

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Southern Novels by Loraine Despres