Seeing my mother as the lead story on the six o'clock news was no great cause for alarm...until the camera revealed her chained to a downtown monument!
I thought I knew my mother-but right now I'm not sure I even know myself. I'm currently a journalist for the Savannah Chronicle. And I don't need drama. Really, I can create my own. Who needs extra? But in spite of the mind-boggling events in Savannah this week, the truth is going to be revealed by one of its very own. I am Savannah...from Savannah.
Savannah's mother has chained herself to a monument of the Ten Commandments in front of a federal courthouse in this lighthearted but lackluster follow-up to Savannah from Savannah. Savannah spends most of her time trying to avoid both her mother and the TV cameras aimed in her mother's direction. The standoff between mom, the courts and the ACLU becomes the subject of two newspaper articles in fulfillment of Savannah's new role as human-interest columnist at the Savannah Chronicle. In the course of the week, Savannah also attempts to win back an old love, benefits from a wise stranger's advice, befriends a beauty queen, moves into her own apartment and fights an attraction to the office hottie. Eventually, after some light philosophizing--cue the wise stranger--she makes up with her mom. Hildreth makes Savannah's conflict with her mother the main point of the novel, but doesn't explore that conflict with enough depth. Characters are relatively one-dimensional, and Hildreth occasionally slaughters metaphors ("I tore into that bathroom and scrubbed as if I were an exfoliant attacking a buildup of over-obsessing mothers and apathetic fathers"). Those looking for another installment of Savannah's antics may be disappointed by the slow pace and lack of significant events. (Aug. 11)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 08, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Savannah Comes Undone by Denise Hildreth
Chapter One My mother is in chains. Chained to what or for what I have no idea. Thomas only said, "Mother is chained to it." I didn't ask. I looked down at the denim bow that tied up my wrap dress. It was slightly tilted, so I straightened it. Now, the bow is an amazing accessory, the way it holds things together. Tying a bow is one of the first achievements of childhood. How unfair: a child, learning how to hold things together. I traced the perfectly symmetrical loops with my index fingers. I thought of childhood and sanity. The phone rang. Again. I jumped. I snatched up my ringing satchel off the hood of Old Betsy and found my phone conveniently resting on the bottom. "What?" "Where are you?" my younger brother, Thomas, asked. "I'm on my way." "You said that five minutes ago." I plopped into the driver's seat. "Are you the clock police?" "Get down here now. Are you a human-interest writer or not?" "I am and I'm coming. Just take a breather. I'll be there in a minute." Welcome to my world. The world of Savannah, where a mother in chains for any reason is no great cause for my alarm. I pointed my declining Saab away from the newspaper office and toward the courthouse. Something off-kilter hovered in the muggy Savannah humidity. Today I suspected something other than the steamy afternoon sun lured people outside their stores, cooling themselves with makeshift fans. I was certain it had to do with "the woman in chains." A plump, elderly, floral blur almost attached herself to my front bumper. "Watch where you're going!" I hollered at the closed window. She scampered on up the street, oblivious to the fact that she had narrowly escaped a lovebug's fate. As I tried to pull up to Wright Square--where both Dad's coffee shop and the U.S. Courthouse stand--I encountered an impassable bottleneck of cars, SUVs, trolleys, and a few unhappy horses toting gawking spectators. This jam was a phenomenon not even experienced on parade day, because cars aren't allowed into the historical district on parade day. But today Savannah had apparently plunged into the depths of downright delirium. I pulled into the covered parking place at the back of Jake's. My little brother (or rather, younger brother; the child stands six feet tall and towers over my five-foot-four-inch frame like a bamboo stalk over a tulip) snatched open the car door. "Vanni, get out of the car! You've got to get to the courthouse." "How did you even see me?" "I've been looking for you for fifteen minutes." "You only called five minutes ago." "I called you twice." He grabbed my arm and slammed the door behind me. Thomas, the only one in the world allowed to call me Vanni, dragged me out of the alley and onto the sidewalk in the direction of the courthouse. "What were you doing anyway?" "I have a job, Thomas. An important job. I have things to finish up before I can just run from my office and jump to the streets." "Give me a break. You were probably checking your hair." I would die a thousand deaths before admitting how close he was to the truth. "Just come on, because you are not going to believe what Mom has done!" I tried to keep pace with him and actually talk at the same time. "Trust me, I'll believe it. And slow down, I don't run well in heels." "You shouldn't be wearing heels. The combination is dangerous to society. And trust me, sweet child, you would never have guessed what you're about to see." We turned the corner and met a scene not witnessed since Tom Hanks sat on a bench and ate a box of chocolates. I could hardly even catch a glimpse of the marble courthouse for the mass of people gathered around something--or dare I say someone--in front of it. ABC and NBC news trucks had arrived. People milled an