Most people think the reason Dee Millings married the best looking man in the Carolinas who turned out to be a complete psycho and near-murderer is because she was raised all wrong. Dee, a 38-year-old heroine to root for, sets out on a path winding with loveable kooks, wanting to prove there is a great life on the other side of tragedy and a crazed ex behind bars who continues to mail threatening letters from prison. Her new adventure begins two years after the crime spree that nearly stopped her heart and left her flat-lining. She packs up her two young kids and settles in her parents’ South Carolina hometown where she deals with a delightful, but over-the-top mama who pretends her grown daughters are virgins.
Dee finds new purpose for herself and her children, discovering joy in places she never expected it: in a nursing home where she tends to the likes of 104-year-old Annie Sue who still drives and has a hankering for cold draft beer. Offering heaps of comic relief, Dee’s Aunt Weepie lives to crash funerals just to get the covered-dish meals after the gravesides, no matter she has no idea who’s in the coffins. Her antics lead her to making a daring decision that could change Dee’s life forever.
As Dee begins a journey toward recovery and becoming a registered nurse, a dark secret resurfaces, one that if handled right, could be her ticket to allowing herself to love again.
Awards & Industry Reviews & Book Reviews
“I love Susan Reinhardt’s humor and hilarious characters” ~Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House
You don t have to be from the South to fall in love with Susan Reinhardt s novel, Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle. Reinhardt shows her fiction chops in this hilarious, offbeat and painfully accurate portrayal of one woman s journey back to sanity in the South. In the southern fried voice we’ve come to love from her memoirs, humor columnist Susan Reinhardt goes for the jugular with hilarity and a touch of key lime pie sweetness in her first novel, Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle. The South will rise again when fans of humor columnist Susan Reinhardt read this novel, assuming they can pick their jaws up off the floor and stop laughing long enough… ~Tracy Beckerman, syndicated humor columnist and author, Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs
Reinhardt creates such colorful, loveable and familiar characters, that we will look for them in our Crayola boxes. Relayed in her southern up-bringing conversational dialogue, even a Yankee will relate to the hysterical should-be-a-movie scenes, running rampant throughout the book. Reinhardt has spun a new color of gold with this one. ~D.C. Stanfa, author of the award-winning The Art of Table Dancing, and Fifty Shades of Funny: Hook-ups, Break-ups and Crack-ups
I have had the very great pleasure of reading excerpts from Susan Reinhardt’s new novel, Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle. It is just a marvel of wit in that grand southern tradition in which we laugh in order not to cry. This is summer reading. ~Elaine Neil Orr, bestselling author of A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa
Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle is a top summer reading pick by the University of Georgia. ~University of Georgia
2014 IPPY Bronze Award
SOUTH-EAST BEST REGIONAL FICTION