I can't access the online book reviews in Library Journal since they're in beta testing. However, this is the review that appeared in the April 1, 2012 edition, as I submitted it.
Rutledge, Lynda. Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. May 2012. 304p. ISBN 9780399157196. $26.
It’s a shock to everyone in Bass,Texas when the town’s richest woman, Faith Bass Darling, a recluse for twenty years, throws open her doors and moves her antique furniture to the lawn. She tells Deputy John Jasper Johsnon, a friend of her deceased son, that she had a revelation from God that she is going to die on Dec. 31, 1999, the last day of the millennium, and God told her to have a garage sale. As she divests herself of generations of heirlooms, for just dollars, a friend panics and calls Faith’s estranged daughter, Claudia. The tragic events of twenty years earlier, ones that haunt Claudia, John Jasper, and Faith, have been hidden behind the doors of that mansion. Now, a mother and daughter face the same questions. What is the value of possessions when they alienate family and loved ones? What if our memories and our lives are based on misconceptions? Rutledge’s debut novel asks her characters to question everything they thought was true in their lives.
VERDICT: This solid debut is a story of misconceptions, family, and tragedy. Rutledge includes a dysfunctional family, racial issues, Alzheimer’s, and philosophical discussions of life and faith in a fascinating character-driven novel. Fortunately, she also alleviates the somber tone with moments of humor, such as the man determined to prepare for Y2-K. This book is recommended for those who enjoy southern literature, with all the eccentric families, as well as book clubs and others who appreciate a story with multiple layers for discussion.
Lesa Holstine. Glendale Public Library. Glendale, Arizona
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