Summary from the book: Helen Ellis has a mantra: “If you don’t have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way.” Say “weathered” instead of “she looks like a cake left out in the rain.” Say “early-developed” instead of “brace face and B cups.” And for the love of Coke Salad, always say “Sorry you saw something that offended you” instead of “Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants.” In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.
Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I laughed out loud at this collection of essays. This little book was just what I needed as a break from crazy thrillers and heavy drama. It’s fun, light, and sassy. Some of the essays I could relate to, such as the one where the author describes her decision to not have children. I was both shocked and dissolved into hysterics as I read the birthday party essay. Then there was the incident with Burberry trench coat. I once took a coat that wasn’t mine at a hair salon. Drove all the way home only to realize that I was wearing someone else’s coat. Granted, it wasn’t a Burberry trench coat and I had to drive back to the salon in the cold and pouring rain to swap the coat, but still. I can relate.
That’s the great thing about this book. Even if you aren’t a Southern Lady, (raising my hand!) you can still relate to these stories. Pick this up and read it on your porch swing as you sip some sweet tea. Or slip it into your tote if you’re hanging by the pool one afternoon and you don’t want a heavy read. I enjoyed Helen Ellis’ journey from Alabama to NYC!
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