How Dolly Parton Saved My Life by Charlotte Connors

dollyI was attracted to the both the cover and the title of this book, which lets face it, is how most people select their books when browsing.  I like Dolly Parton very much.  I’m sad she’s had so much plastic surgery because I think she looks a bit scary now, but I really admire her a lot.  Have you ever heard her version of Shine? It’s outstanding. And I Will Always Love You? How can it be that I abhor that song when song by Whitney Houston, but when Dolly effortlessly sings it in such a lovely lilting manner, it just sounds like a wonderful love song? That’s my two cents on Dolly.  Here is something very interesting that I did not get from the cover–it turned out to be a very Christian book.  Enough that it gave me pause and for a moment I thought “Oh do I want to keep reading?” But I was enjoying the story and didn’t mind that the characters just spoke from time to time about praying and their faith. It was actually well integrated into the story. So what is the story? Four Southern women get together and open their own catering business. They intend it to be like no other and also a place where women with children can work and and manage their family lives at the same time.  Their kids are always welcome at the store and everyone understands family emergencies.  So that’s the main story-getting this business up and running.  But then there are stories for each of the characters as well.  It’s been a while since I read this so bear with me and let’s see if I remember everyone:

a young mother with a teenage daughter named Tiffany.  She had Tiffany herself at age 15 or so and is very sassy and prone to wearing clothes too tight and too short.  She is only recently devout.

a single twenty or thirtysomething who broke up with her long time boyfriend and is floundering wondering if she’ll ever meet anyone and also whether or not to take back her ex.  She feels a bit left out what with not having kids and all.

a society woman with a husband and two kids.  he is not supportive of her working.

another society woman whose idea the whole thing was. She has a husband and two kids and they have a happy family life. She has hard feelings towards the other society woman because it turns out (spoiler) that she used to be engaged to that woman’s now-husband and the other woman is unaware of this.

The business does not get off to a great start and it seems like the business needs to fold, but the four women have developed strong friendships and a good support system and they are desperate to make it work. Since this novel is billed as a “Novel of the Jelly Jar Sisterhood”, I bet you can guess how that turns out.  Actually when I read that “jelly jar sisterhood” I thought perhaps I’d leapt in mid-series, but no, it turns out this the first and I guess she just knows she’s got more coming down the line.  Which, actually, I would read because I am curious to find out more about these characters and what they do with their lives.


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