‘Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi’ by Nanci Kincaid

  Truely Noonan and his sister, Courtney, are ready to leave their life in Mississippi behind them and head for the big city lights of San Francisco.
  The children of loving, hardworking parents who gave them a simple, safe life, the siblings separately set out to make their dreams come true in the West. They find success there, each enjoying extreme wealth and happy relationships.
  When their daddy and mama age and die, Truely begins to realize the simple comforts he has always cherished but hadn’t recognized at the time.
  It was like discovering a masterpiece right under his nose — a work of art he had dismissed as the most amateurish, run-of-the-mill, uninspired sort of paint-by-number. How had he been such an idiot? His sudden admiration for the way his daddy had lived just hit him like a bullet in the heart.
  Truely and Courtney enjoy their lives in California, but eventually their futures are rocked when both their marriages fail. With their parents now dead, they lean on each other for support, but keep their pain mostly to themselves. The siblings don’t know that each is keeping secrets from the other, not wanting to share their loneliness or the skeletons in their mutual family closet.
  When troubled teenager Arnold attaches himself to Truely, the siblings find themselves filling the roles of surrogate parents. After they discover that Arnold has his own dark secrets, Truely begins to ponder if there really is a benefit to keeping things bottled.
  At this point in his life it seemed that lies were of a fragile nature. The ones he told, the ones told to him. Lies had expiration dates — he believed that. It was just a matter of time before they betrayed you. So maybe it would spare everybody a lot of wear and tear just to speak the truth from the beginning and deal with the backlash at the front end. Because the best he could tell, you would deal with it in the end — not matter what.
  Truely, Courtney and Arnold, by circumstance or choice, create their own family unit. They come to trust and be comforted by each other, falling back on the simple life the siblings learned as children.
  Nanci Kincaid’s “Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi” is all about family — appreciating the one you have as a child, letting go of one that crumbles as an adult, and doing right by the people who matter to you most.
  This novel doesn’t really hold any surprises for readers, but it is a tender take on keeping your roots intact even when they are replanted in new soil.

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