When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.
For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.
For fans of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The Help, Dollbaby brings to life the charm and unrest of 1960s New Orleans through the eyes of a young girl learning to understand race for the first time.
By turns uplifting and funny, poignant and full of verve, Dollbaby is a novel readers will take to their hearts.
Expected publication: July 3rd 2014
Ibby was only twelve when she meet her grandmother Fannie for the first time after the death of her father. We meet her mother Vildrine who doesn't get along with Fannie at all and is purposely making Fannie relive some events that she doesn't want to remember. Then we meet Fannie's servants, Dollbaby and Queenie, who are daughter and mother duo. Along the way we meet more characters you shape Ibby into the young woman that she became; each having a impact on her life, whether for good or bad. The family secrets had me feeling so sorry for Fannie and what she went through, that shaped her into the woman that she had become. I'm glad that Ibby was there to help her grandmother emotionally.
I loved all the characters, I can't really say who's my favorite, just because I love them all so much. The character development was exceptional.
Dollbaby reminds me of some many books, but unique in it's on way. I can't wait to read more from Laura.
About the Author
Laura Lane McNeal grew up In New Orleans where people laugh a lot, talk with their hands, love good music, good food, and will make up any excuse for a party.
After receiving two undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University (a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Business Administration), she went on to earn an MBA from Tulane University. She spent most of her career in advertising, working for firms in New York and Dallas, before returning to New Orleans where she started her own marketing consulting firm and became a free-lance writer as well as a decorative artist. In 2005, when the devastation of Hurricane Katrina left her with having to rebuild her life, Laura seized the opportunity to fulfill her lifetime dream of becoming a writer. She hasn’t stopped since.
Laura resides in New Orleans and is married with two sons. DOLLBABY is her first published novel. She is presently working on a second novel.
Website Facebook Twitter