Southern Discomfort

I’ve been thinking of sharing this book with you guys, and quite honestly, I couldn’t remember it’s name, only that Rita Mae Brown wrote it and that it took place in Montgomery, Alabama.  So I looked up Brown’s bibliography and searched through the books until I found it.  I checked out this book a few years ago at the public library when I was in graduate school. I absolutely fell in love with it.  Southern Discomfort is my favorite Rita Mae Brown book. The characters in this novel are so vivid and well developed you’ll finish the novel feeling like you know them personally. Fast, smart, funny and ultimately heartbreaking, this is definitely a must for any fan of Rita Mae Brown.

Only Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle, could have written a novel as passionately delightful as Southern Discomfort.  Here is a witty, warm and pentrating tale of two decades in Montgomery Alabama–a world where all is not what it seems.  Meet Hortensia Reedmuller Banastre, a beautiful woman entrenched on old money, white magnolia and a loveless marriage–until she meets an utterly gorgeous young prizefighter.  Amid such memorable characters as Banana Mae Parker and Blue Rhonda Latrec (two first-class whores) and Reverend Linton Ray (who wears his clerical collar too tightly for anyone’s good), Hortensia struggles to survive the hurricane of emotions caused by her scandalous love.  How she ultimately triumphs is a touching and beautiful human drama–an intense and exuberant affair of the heart.

Rita Mae Brown’s Southern Discomfort is warm and fuzzy in all the good ways. She earns the pleasurable feelings from her readers through the creation of her dazzling cast of characters and spinning them through a marvelous narrative. I laughed and I cried and sometimes often at the same time. The author writes beautifully and easily allows the reader to soak into the Southern pool of charm she creates. I have enjoyed many of her novels but this is the one that always draws me back. It is the perfect novel for a summer day sipping a mint julep and wondering how eccentric your friends and neighbours could be if only they were Southern.


Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sister Jane novels-Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, The Hunt Ball, The Hounds and the Fury, The Tell-Tale Horse, and Hounded to Death-as well as the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries and Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, and The Sand Castle, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Southern Discomfort

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