Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review: The Cherry Cola Book Club

The Cherry Cola Book ClubAuthor: Ashton Lee
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Kensington

With its corrugated iron siding and cramped interior, the Cherico, Mississippi, library is no Antebellum gem. But for young librarian Maura Beth Mayhew, it's as essential to the community as the delicious desserts at the Twinkle, Twinkle Café. It's a place for neighbors to mingle and browse through the newest bestsellers, for the indomitable Miss Voncille Nettles to host her "Who's Who in Cherico?" meetings. The library may be underfunded and overlooked, but it's Maura Beth's pride, and she won't let the good ole boys on the City Council close it down without a fight.

Which is why Maura Beth has founded the Cherry Cola Book Club--a last-ditch attempt to boost circulation and save her job. Over potluck dinners featuring treasured family recipes, the booklovers of Cherico come together to talk about literary classics. But soon it's not just Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee being discussed over chicken gumbo and homemade biscuits with green pepper jelly. Secrets are shared, old dreams rekindled, and new loves slowly blossom.

“That book club she said she belonged to,” Maura Beth explained. “I need to pick her brain about that. Maybe we could get something like that going here in Cherico. You know, get people into the library to review books and socialize with each other. Maybe that’s the type of gimmick you were talking about earlier that I could use to put the library back on the map.”

“Oh, my girlfriend, Periwinkle Lattimore, keeps an eye out for me when someone she thinks I might be interested in wanders into The Twinkle. She even takes pictures with her cell phone on the sly and sends them to me. The problem is, we don’t exactly have the same taste in men. After all, she’s almost forty, and I’ll be thirty in two years.”

Miss Voncille thought her jalapeno cornbread would complement Becca’s spaghetti and revealed that she would be bringing Locke Linwood as a guest once again; and Maura Beth’s chocolate, cherry cola sheet cake in conjunction with Periwinkle’s sherry custard would satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth there at the end.

“Anyway I’m here to tell you that The Cherry Cola Book Club took flight without a hitch this evening.”

Anyone with a passion for books, cherry cola, or sweet, southern towns is sure to take find a friend in Ashton Lee and his latest book, The Cherry Cola Book Club. Librarians are sure to get a kick out a book like this, in which the town pulls together to try and spare the local library. The local Councilman, Durden Sparks, gives the town librarian, Maura Beth Mayhew, five months to improve her situation or else the librarian has to be torn down. Maura Beth isn’t quite sure how she is going to fix her problem, but she knows the best place to start is with her best friend, Periwinkle Lattimore, and her charming, little café, The Twinkle. With the help of Periwinkle and some other charming southern guests visiting the café, Maura Beth thinks she has found a way to save the town’s library!

Maura Beth Mayhew and Periwinkle Lattimore make the greatest team I have ever witnessed. I was so enthralled with their friendship and the uniqueness that each of them brings to the table. They made me laugh so hard that I had to wipe my eyes, and their friendship is surely a tribute to the hospitality of southern women. Sometimes the books I love the best are the one in which the secondary characters stand out to me more. Between the library, the café, and the book club I couldn’t tell you which place became my favorite because they were all filled with laughter, new friends, and that sweet southern charm that I am so used to.

The idea of a book club or any kind of club for that matter, has always stood out to me when trying to decide which novel I will read next. There is something about the unity and friendship that can be found within them that draws me in. In this novel, the book club starts off by reading To Kill A Mockingbird. This book is a classic and one of my absolute favorite, so of course I loved seeing how these fictional characters responded to it as well. I think that anyone with even a sense of literary genius in them, bibliophiles included, will find pure pleasure in reading this novel!

***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at Kensington for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***


  1. My local libs is fantastic. I don't know what I would do if someone tried to shut it down. But this sounds cute. I love books that can make me laugh so hard I cry.

    Thanks for the review. I'd love if you stopped by my latest post: TBR Intervention

  2. I love that this book is about a community coming together to save the local library. It sounds adorable, and definitely something I would probably love. I've really been getting more into books that are set in the south and they are always so much fun. Thanks for the review, Chelsey!

  3. Yet another book you've reviewed that now intrigues me, Chelsey! Love the title - and cherry cola. ;)

    Thanks for sharing. :)

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  5. When I was a teen I thought being locked in the local library all weekend would be a wonderful thing, so you can imagine how I am looking forward to this book.

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