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Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi    by Nanci Kincaid order for
Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi
by Nanci Kincaid
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi is a misleading title. It sounds like it might be kind of a funny book. After all, it's kind of a funny title. However, not only isn't it funny, but for the first 140 pages of this book, I kept wondering what the point was. We were introduced to Truely Noonan and his sister Courtney, and we learned everything we might want to know about their childhood, their parents, where they came from, and who they were. We kept thinking, ah, now that we know that, the story will start. We were disappointed, though, because the story just didn't start. It kept on and on with what could best be described as background information.

I must admit that if I hadn't been reviewing this book, I wouldn't have finished it. The story finally started, though, on page 141, and after that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the book. Arnold Carter is introduced on that page and immediately the reader perks up, the characters start to live and breathe, and you start to care what's happening. I'm still not sure why the first 140 pages are there. What we learned about Truely and Courtney was that they grew up poor and religious in a part of Mississippi where that's pretty much the norm, and they both escaped to California, breaking their parents' hearts in the process, but gaining wealth and love. But wait, money was never a problem for them after they moved away, but love was, only the problematic part of their separate loves wasn't particularly believable. The stories of their love lives became the non-stories that never went anywhere. The only real story in this book is the one about Arnold.

When they meet Arnold, both of the Noonan siblings come alive. This book is only their story inasmuch as it relates to Arnold. He became the reality of their lives as well as the great changing force in the story. I can only hope that everyone who picks up this book will be patient and keep reading, because Arnold grabs you and keeps you engaged and turning those pages right up to the hoped for conclusion.

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