Approaching the book as I do all books, whether I buy them or they’re sent to me, I first checked the cover. It’s beautiful, as you can see. Next, I turned it over and read the cover blurb:
I liked that the book was set in central Texas, my stomping ground. But I was stopped by: “Pea is convinced she’ll find a sign leading her to the reincarnated soul of the sister…” I put the book down and walked away. Some of you may remember that my sister died this summer. I wasn’t ready to read this book.Ex-cocktail waitress and “convenience store professional” Eudora “Pea” O’Brien is filled with grief and regret, low on cash and all alone. Headed down the hot, dusty back roads of central Texas, Pea is convinced she’ll find a sign leading her to the reincarnated soul of the sister who raised her. A sign that she’s found her place in the world of the living again.
At least that’s what the psychic promised.
In an unforgettably funny and poignant journey, Pea collects an unlikely family of strays – a starving kitten, a pregnant teenager, a sexy con man trying to go straight, and a ferocious gun dealer named Glory, who introduces Pea to the amazing, sword-wielding warrior goddesses of Texas author Robert E. Howard – creator of the Conan the Barbarian novels – and celebrated in festival every year. Six foot tall, red-headed Pea looks good with a sword in her hand.Glory, the goddesses, and a grandmotherly café owner become Pea’s unlikely gurus as she struggles to learn swordplay and the art of perfect fried okra. She’ll have to master both if she’s going to find what matters most – her own lost soul.
The next day, I picked it back up and began to read.
There were a few times I cried and had to stop reading, but mostly I laughed and smiled and kept turning pages. Pea isn’t really trying to find her dead sister. She’s trying to find herself, to forgive herself for past mistakes, and to become the woman she is destined to be, the woman her sister would be proud of.
Pea is homeless and broke, yet she keeps picking up other souls who are as lost as she is. She pulls them into her life and takes responsibility for them. And when someone reaches out to her, she isn’t quite sure how to accept their help or their love. She’s on a journey that isn’t marked by miles, but by love.
And love is what defines us all.
I loved The Goddess of Fried Okra. I give it a Hel-Yeah!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FTC Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Deborah Smith, Editor, VP, of BelleBooks and Bell Bridge Books, who did not ask for a review. Since my sister’s death, I’ve often asked myself, how long does it take a heart to heal? Pea is searching for the answer to that question. It’s often said that time heals all. I don’t think that’s true. Time lessens the grief, but it is love that heals the heart. Pea learns many lessons in this book. And in case you’re wondering about the title, she does indeed become the Goddess of Fried Okra, as well as a sword-wielding warrior. To learn how she manages both while traveling through Texas, you’ll have to read the book.