Author: Olivia deBelle Byrd
Genre: Memoir, nonfiction, humor, adult
Publication: May 2010
Source: For review, from author
Miss Hildreth Wore Brown is a funny and charming little book full of short stories and anecdotes about being a true Southern woman. Olivia deBelle Byrd covers a wide range of topics including parenting, hair, fashion, traveling, and much, much more. I love her voice in this book because it is uniquely and distinctly her: very Southern but with a little twist. See, Olivia has a bit of sass in her, and isn’t afraid to speak up at all. While she can certainly act like a prim and proper Southern belle, she isn’t afraid to laugh at herself and others, and break out of the mold sometimes (such as when she got a bit rude, or shall we say “sassy”, with a cop who pulled her over for speeding).
Even though I’m one of those Northerners to whom Olivia frequently refers, I still got a chuckle out of her stories and found I could relate to a lot of them. One of my favorite bits was the section called “Christmas Sweaters.” She read in a magazine that Christmas sweaters were a fashion no-no, so when she attended a Christmas coffee (“coffee” meaning a get-together, not a beverage… strange Southerners! lol) she was the only one not wearing Christmas apparel. This cracked me up. Just this past Christmas, at my family party (or should I say coffee?) we had an ugly Christmas sweater contest (my uncle won, for the record. He wore some kind of bedazzled Christmas vest. It was bangin’)! Later on, Olivia also learns the fine art of bargaining from her husband… while in Jamaica, she spots a gorgeous basket. When the woman tells her it’s five dollars, she hastily replies “I’ll give you seven dollars.”
All in all, Olivia is a real hoot, and someone I’d love to be friends with in real life! I really enjoyed her humor and wit. My only complaint is that the stories were all quite short – some were even just a page or two long. I would have liked to see some of them developed more, with more detail or back story. However, I absolutely adore Southern novels, so it was fun to read about Southern life from a real Southern woman. I actually kind of wish I were Southern… (y’all are classy) hmm… maybe I’ll have to recruit Olivia to teach me…?
My Rating: 3.5/5