By Claire Fullerton
Endorsements for Little Tea
Claire Fullerton skillfully draws us into a lost world of Southern traditions and norms where past tragedies cast long, dark shadows on present-day lives, and no one ever truly escapes.
Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls*
“Claire Fullerton once again delivers an emotional, lyrical tale and proves she’s a writer to watch.”
–Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials
Claire Fullerton’s unique, lovely story brings the reader a triple bonus — the sense of home, history, and compassion delivered in abundance. Her characters sizzle with personality. This is the Old South butting heads with Today. Fullerton’s book Little Tea shows us there is hope for the future.
Val MacEwan: Editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.
pre-release, here are Little Tea’s Awards
The Pulpwood Queens (780 book club chapters) August book selection
Finalist in the Faulkner Society’s William Wisdom International book competition
Finalist in the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset Awards
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship. For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia revisits the life she’d tried to outrun. As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.
Little Tea is a story of many layers. The author deftly alternates this story of the South in the 1980s with the present day. While racism was outlawed, the South still bristled with hatred from a few of the privileged.
Ava, Celia, and Renny had been friends since they were thirteen years old. When Ava decides she needs to change her life and contemplates leaving her husband of 23 years, the three friends meet at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, not far from Memphis. Unbeknownst to Celia and Renny, Ava arranges to meet her high school boyfriend, Mark, at the lake house. Celia’s ex-boyfriend, Tate, is in Memphis at the same time and wants to see Celia. This stirs up a lot of memories of Tate, her brother Hayward, and her best friend Little Tea, Celia has worked hard to bury. Renny is the voice of calm and reason and having divorced her husband, has no need for another man in her life. Will all three be able to come to terms with the issues they’ve tried to bury?
This is a story of family, friendships, love, hate, and race relations still evident in the 1980s. It is about children growing to adulthood but never really leaving all the entanglements of their youth behind. The author keeps you guessing about some of the characters, revealing only what you need to know until she decides you need to know more.
Claire Fullerton crafts a beautiful story that is both pleasurable and heartrending at times. Her characters are so well fleshed out, you feel you know each one personally. She seamlessly moves from one period to the other and back throughout the book allowing us to know the South through Ava, Renny and Celia’s eyes. For those of us who are Northerners, it gives us insight into how far-reaching the fingers of hate can go.
I loved Little Tea. It is one of those books you can’t put down and then never seems to leave you. If you enjoy
I was given an ARC copy of Little Tea by the author in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author
Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction (Southeast). Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, A Portal in Time, and a contributor to A Southern Season with her Novella, Through an Autumn Window. Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency. She is a featured author with Novel Network and a two-time featured author of The Pulpwood Queens.
Claire Fullerton is the author of four novels and one novella. Her southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis, Mourning Dove (Firefly Southern Fiction) was a five-time book award winner and a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Society’s 2017 William Wisdom international competition.