kud - zu \kud-zü\ n: a ubiquitous vine/weed found in Southern climes that, left uncontrolled, will grow over any fixed object in its path, including trees, power lines, and the entire state of Georgia. deb-u-tante \de-byu-tant\ n: a young woman making a debut into society, easily spotted in white dress and pearl necklace. Common names include Muffy, Bootsy, and Bunny. Eadie Boone is no shrinking violet. An artist and former beauty queen who married into one of the first families of Ithaca, Georgia, she tackles everything with gusto and flair. But tailing her wayward husband proves to be, well, an exasperating chore. If only Trevor would just see the light, dump his twenty-two-year-old hussy, and return home, Eadie's creative energy could be put to better use. Now all she has to do is convince him. Nita Broadwell, a good Southern girl from a good Southern family, is jolted out of complacency when she discovers condoms in her husband's shirt pocket ("Maybe he'd found them on the ground and picked them up").
Three 40-something women married to partners at an Ithaca, Ga., law firm form a First Wives Club south of the Mason-Dixon line in Holton's slapstick revenge tale with serious undertones. Affluent housewives Nita Broadwell, Eadie Boone and Lavonne Zibolsky try to fill the emptiness of their lives: quiet Nita devours soft-porn romance novels and lusts after her carpenter to assuage the hurt caused by her controlling husband, Charles; artistic Eadie stalks her husband, Trevor, who's about to leave her for his 20-something secretary; and formerly career-minded Lavonne, a brassy Northern Jewish transplant, gobbles ice cream and bagels to compensate for her passionless marriage to Leonard. At a disastrous, margarita-fueled holiday party for the firm, they discover the truth about their husbands' annual hunting trip and realize they're united by more than friendship and disgruntlement: all of their husbands have been chasing hookers, not wild game, on this getaway. With Eadie as the ringleader, they plot to sabotage the good ole' boys' trip. Adventure and comeuppance ensue, culminating with the gals' rebellious attendance at the subversive Kudzu Ball, where time-honored Southern traditions are parodied. Though this debut strives to entertain while skewering idiosyncratic social mores in the New South, it lacks real drama. (May 16) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 15, 2006
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Excerpt from Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton
One week before the dinner party where she found out the truth about her cheating husband, Eadie Boone sat in her car outside the offices of Boone & Broadwell waiting for Trevor and his new girlfriend to appear. She was parked in a no-parking zone across the street from the old columned mansion that housed her husband ' s law firm. It was five o ' clock in the afternoon and Ithaca ' s thin stream of rush-hour traffic moved sluggishly along the street.
Sunlight fell from a wide blue Georgia sky and slanted through the arching branches of the live oaks. The air was cool and sweet with the scent of wet grass. Fall was Eadie ' s favorite time of year. It reminded her of football games, and new school bags, and the hope and promise of good things to come. Other people think of spring as the season of renewal, but there was something about autumn ' s dark wet corruption that appealed to Eadie ' s nature. In the damp sunshine of an autumn afternoon Eadie felt there was nothing she could not do. Even become one of the greatest artists of the twenty-first century. Even make her husband love her again.
Not that Trevor had ever stopped loving her. Eadie knew, deeply and intuitively, that he had not. Eadie believed a good marriage was a fight to the death, a long slow clamp on the jugular by two equally determined adversaries, and given this definition, she and Trevor had one of the best marriages around. Trevor liked a good fight as much as she did. But somewhere along the way, he had forgotten all this. Waiting in her car, protruding like a jetty into the slow-moving stream of rush-hour traffic, Eadie felt it was her duty to remind him.
Still, the sight of the girl with her husband stunned her. They appeared minutes later, walking arm in arm, heads close while they shared some secret moment. Looking at the two of them, Eadie realized how much reminding Trevor needed. The girl could not be a day over twenty-two. She had the pliant, eager look of someone with low self-esteem. Eadie bet she didn ' t even argue with Trevor. She probably listened intently and did as she was told and wasn ' t even selfish in bed. Poor Trevor must be bored senseless.
She watched them disappear around the back of the building, and a few minutes later Trevor ' s old Mercedes rattled past, shooting out a plume of dark smoke that disappeared lazily among the arching branches of the trees. Eadie started her car and followed them. Five minutes later Trevor parked in front of the Pink House Restaurant, and Eadie pulled to the side of the street and watched them cross between traffic, holding hands and laughing like a couple of teenagers. A woman with less self-confidence than Eadie Boone would have been crushed, seeing how much they seemed to enjoy each other ' s company. But Eadie was feeling nothing more than a growing sense of impatience with Trevor ' s stubborn stupidity.