Doll-baby Book Review

Disclosure:  I participated in this post on behalf of Penguin, who provided product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

  Written by Laura Lane McNeal
  Hardcover, 352 Pages
  Fiction, July 2014

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met.

Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

Laura Lane McNeal grew up in New Orleans, where she lives today with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Southern Methodist University. She also has an MBA from Tulane and ran her own marketing consulting firm in New Orleans. This is her first novel.  You can find her online at

My Thoughts
This book had me interested from the very beginning.  Ibby is dropped off at her grandmother's house by her mother, even though she has never met her before.  She feels alone and scared, but soon finds that living with her grandmother isn't that bad.  Her mother eventually shows up to get her, but she stays and never sees her mother again.  There are plenty of secrets that get revealed over the years and Ibby finally has a family again.  A very nice read.  I Rated This Book:  4/5 Stars ****

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