In Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross, Miss Julia has finally gotten her late husband’s affairs in order and is astonished at the millions of dollars left by her husband when one day a strange woman rings her doorbell with a scrawny little boy at her side and demands that Miss Julia take care of her son because he is the illegitimate son of Miss Julia’s husband. In shock, Miss Julia lets the 10-year-old boy into her house, and the mother, Hazel Marie Puckett, tells Miss Julia she is going to a cosmetology class in Raleigh, NC and will return for “Junior” in six weeks. Then, Miss Puckett takes off. Miss Julia’s instinct is to call out the cavalry, but a calmer head in the form of Lillian, Julia’s maid, prevails in pointing out that news of her husband’s infidelities will get spread all over town and that they both know that it is always the wife who gets blamed for her husband’s straying, no matter how wickedly adulterous the husband. However, after further time to contemplate, Miss Julia decides that the Christian thing to do is to invite her late husband’s illegitimate son into her home and publicly introduce him about town to make a clear, public statement.
It doesn’t take long before Miss Julia sees responses to her public actions. As she, the police officer who lodges with her, and “Little Lloyd” explore the homes left to her by her late husband, “Little Lloyd spots his home, only to discover it has been stripped of every sick of furniture, and the police officer finds blood in the garage. Then, when Miss Julia and Little Lloyd get home, they find Lillian on the front porch in terror. She has just returned from a trip to the market only to find that someone has ransacked and destroyed the house but not taken anything. Further, the pastor of her church, who is a chauvinist pig who misrepresents Scripture to suit his twisted needs, has formed a conspiracy to get Miss Julia declared mentally incompetent in order to get his hands on her money.
This book is fascinating and well worth reading. I purchased it from Audible, thinking it was a mystery, but while there are mystery components, the book deals more with life and rebuilding life after the passing of a dominating spouse. It examines types of manipulation, from the more subtle to the. blatant threats of Miss Julia’s pastor. The first-person narration of Miss Julia comes across as lively and clever.
Karen White does an excellent job of narrating this book. She puts on a believable accent as well as voices for the characters. She really brings this book to life.
I strongly enjoyed listening to Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind and recommend the book for everyone else. I give it five stars.
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