As the author of several successful Southern-themed novels and a resident of the South herself, Denise Hildreth brings that region, complete with its most charming foibles, to vibrant life through the edgy and witty prose of her most recent triumph, Flies on the Butter.
Rose Fletcher, a hardened businesswoman, has spent most of her adult life running from her native South and its painful memories. But circumstances unknown to the reader have Rose returning to her hometown of Mullins, South Carolina for the winter. With each mile her chic Lexus covers, Rose is forced to deal with more and more of the pain-filled past to which she thought herself long hardened. Along her journey, Rose encounters a potpourri of colorful Southern characters, ranging from the nostalgic and elderly gas station employee, Herschel, to a plump and pushy diner waitress named Daisy, all of whom propel Rose along her spiritual, as well as geographical, journey. In the end, Rose must come to realize that no matter how fast she may run, she will never be able move into her future without first mending the fragments of her past.
Because Rose is an unbeliever, readers can expect to encounter material falling short of biblical standards. Rose, however, is a powerful illustration of the brokenness of the world outside of Christís touch. This story provides readers with useful insights into the hearts of those for whom Christ most persistently reaches. And it is the very darkness of Roseís character that, in the end, so beautifully highlights Godís restorative light and love.
Flies in the Butter quickly engages readers in its colorful setting through the use of quirky dialogue, vivid descriptions and humorous colloquialisms that capture the unique spirit of the South. Though at times Hildrethís use of stereotypes may cross the line of plausibility, it nonetheless provides Flies in the Butter with a delightful aura of its own, complete with fried chicken, glass-bottled Coca-Colas, and collard greens, against which Rose stands in humorous contrast.
The novel also uses flashbacks in order to peel back Roseís hard exterior and reveal the unraveling of her initially happy childhood. Rose is a character for whom the reader, upon first glance, would grant little sympathy, and she would certainly ask for none. But as stories of Roseís past are unveiled, the reader catches a glimpse of the broken woman beneath her no-nonsense exterior. In addition to offering valuable insight into Roseís character and choices, the flashbacks also keep the novelís pace fast and energetic and offer an ever-varying backdrop against which Hildreth stages her novel.
Overall, Flies on the Butter is an engaging and worthwhile reading experience. Although completing the novel requires wading through some uncomfortable territory, persistent and hopeful readers wonít be disappointed by its resolution. To those seeking a well-written story that is both humorous and heart-wrenching, Flies in the Butter is an excellent choice and will leave the reader grateful for the touch of Godís redemptive love. Ė Lauren Peltier, Christian Book Previews.com
When Rose Fletcher embarks on her car trip to Mullins, South Carolina, she has little idea what awaits her. A powerful DC lobbyist, Rose remains powerless over the demons of her past. On her journey, she must face her lies, her adultery, and the desperate ache of the life she once knew.
A poignant southern tale of how the lost can find their way back home. And how deep roots and southern memories--like chocolate pie, boiled peanuts, and crazy waitresses in small town diners--can remind you of why sometimes life has to come to a screeching halt so we can learn how to live.