Title: Mama Tried
Author:Kathy Des Jardins
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Literary Fiction
Disc jockey Joy Faye Savoy plays country songs written about women like her mother, the comely, exasperating Quida Raye Perkins. When Joy treats her audience to good-natured gripes about her big-haired and bossy mother, who's known to hitch rides in semi trucks, she is shocked to find herself syndicated … with one catch—she must keep poking fun at feisty Quida Raye.
Joy makes the best of small-town stardom despite big-time baggage, a load not lightened by hunky co-workers or her overbearing best friend until true love strikes. Meanwhile, Joy finally hears in those old melodies what she and her mother have had in common all along—yesterday, with its shared memories of happiness and tragedy. And they know all the words by heart.
Joy firmly believes she’s got nothing in common with her overbearing mama until love finds its way into her heart. Joy Faye Savoy has spent her life proving her mama wrong. As a disc jockey, she spins country music songs that resonate with women like her mama. On a whim, Joy recites stories about her bossy mama on-air, thinking nothing will happen. Her audience loves her stories and soon Joy finds her show syndicated. The only caveat is that she must keep sharing her mama tales. Talk about awkward. Joy’s a star in her own small town but it makes for strange bedfellows. When love comes calling for Joy, she finally understands her own mama and those sappy love songs. Joy realizes she’s her mama’s daughter after all and life is fuller than she ever imagined.
Mama Tried is a humorous women’s fiction illustrating the tenuous mother-daughter relationship. I connected with Joy on so many levels, it’s like I was reading a book about my own relationship with my mum. The descriptive narration is quite immersive which draws the reader into the story. The characters are vibrant and leap off the page. The dialogue is quick, emotive, humorous, and a tad snarky so naturally I loved reading it. The tone of the story is serious one minute and funny the next, as it is in life. Kathy Des Jardins writes with the same style as Rebecca Wells from Ya-Ya Sisterhood fame. Is it based on real life? I’m not sure but it resonated with me and made me think long and hard after I finished reading. Fans of Rebecca Wells and Fannie Flagg, you’ll love Mama Tried. A beautiful story about life, love, and mothers. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Kathy Des Jardins owns a publications firm in metro Atlanta and is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club and Roswell Reads. A former newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, she won her first journalism award for a country concert review. During the next decade, another category would dominate her nearly 100 national, regional, and state awards: humor writing. In addition to winning two Louisiana Press Association’s Best Regular Columnist Awards, four Louisiana Press Women Sweepstakes Awards, and a first for humor articles from the National Federation of Press Women, she was honored by the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Newspaper Contests and United Press International Newspapers of Louisiana, among other organizations. She has also received California Press Women’s Outstanding Excellence Award and USTA Georgia’s Media Excellence Award. Mama Tried, her first novel, revisits her two earliest, and most winning, themes: tragicomedy set to classic country music.
In addition to appearing in O, Georgia! A Collection of Georgia’s Newest and Most Promising Writers, she has written for several national and regional publications. Beginning in 2015, she also penned a book column for a monthly Atlanta magazine. Kathy claims dual citizenship, having been born in Kentucky and raised in Louisiana, where she fleetingly attended Louisiana State University-Alexandria and Louisiana College. She and her husband live in Johns Creek, Georgia, and have three sons.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N