Cold Sassy Tree

Cold Sassy Tree

Olive Ann Burns









From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Suzanne Leslie Simmons

Cold Sassy Tree, a novel full of warm humor and honesty, is told by Willy Tweedy, a fourteen-year-old boy living in a small, turn-of-the-century Georgia town. Will's hero is his Grandpa Rucker, who runs the town's general store, carrying all the power and privilege thereof. When Grandpa Rucker suddenly marries his store's young milliner barely three weeks after his wife's death, the town is set on its ear. Will Tweedy matures as he watches his family's reaction and adjustment to the news. He is trapped in the awkward phase of rising to adult expectations - driving the first cars in town - while still orchestrating wild pranks and starting scandalous gossip through his childish bragging. He seeks the wisdom of his grandpa and has his eyes opened to southern "ways" under the tutelage of Grandpa's new Yankee wife, Miss Love. Still, Will "couldn't figure out...why in the heck she would marry the old man." But Miss Love's influence seems to be transforming Grandpa into a younger man, and the answer unfolds slowly and sweetly as Will Tweedy becomes the confidante and staunch defender of this unlikely couple. The lessons of life and death, of piousness and irreverence, form the basis of memorable characters and a story that is both difficult to put down and hard to leave.

Olive Ann Burns (July 17, 1924 – July 4, 1990) was an American writer from Georgia best known for her single completed novel, Cold Sassy Tree, published in 1984.

[edit] Background

Olive Ann Burns was born in Banks County, Georgia. Her father was a farmer but was forced to sell his farm in 1931 during the Great Depression. The Burns family then moved to Commerce, Georgia. Burns ...