Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale
by Lynda Rutledge
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $25.95
What the publisher wants us to know:
On the last day of the millennium, sassy Faith Bass Darling decides to have a garage sale. Why is the richest lady in Bass, Texas, a recluse for twenty years, suddenly selling off her worldly possessions? As the townspeople grab up the heirlooms, and the antiques reveal their own secret stories,a cast of characters appears to witness the sale or try to stop it. Before the day is over, they’ll all examine their roles in the Bass family saga, as well as some of life’s most imponderable questions: Do our possessions possess us? What are we without our memories? Is there life after death or second chances here on earth? And is Faith really selling that Tiffany lamp for $1?
My thoughts about Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale:
Holy shmoly, the premise of this book just grabbed me, I loved the idea! Starting with a first glimpse of things to come when author Lynda Rutledge immerses the reader into the "garage sale" theme with the provenance of a Louis XV elephant clock and a brief story of how it got to Texas. Rutledge then follows with the preface and a partial list of items up for grabs in Faith Bass Darling's garage sale. You get the idea that there will be some jumping around in time and some exploration of the "last garage sale" theme.
The theme being the end of Faith's life as she knows it, you quickly learn that her ability to stay grounded in 1999 is wavering when she pays some neighbor boys in $20 gold coins for helping move furniture, and they want "real" paper money. Rutledge shows us that Faith is having trouble keeping her doctor's name straight as she confuses him with her long dead physician. The author quickly paints a clear picture of Faith's world in Bass, Texas in 1999. She has Alzheimer's and spends a lot of time in the past, sharing the stories behind the items she's selling and the misconceptions of the meanings in old family letters and notes. Things aren't always what they seem to be.
But about a third of the way through this story, I began to get depressed. I mean really depressed. As prospective readers, the synopsis of the story, to me, paints a more humorous picture of what this book is about. There are humorous and very touching moments, but I feel as if the description paints a picture that isn't quite the view we actually get. I wish the synopsis had been a bit less light and fluffy, then I would have been more inclined to be prepared for what Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale really is about.
It's a nicely told, if slow, story of the things and people in our lives and how we project our idea of what they are worth. It's the story of a woman at the end her life who has chosen to dispose of the things in her world and along the way to deal with unfinished threads in her life, her estranged daughter.
All in all, I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars as it was a bit slow and I thought the back and forth was a bit over done and often was hard to keep up with.
I look forward to the next book from Lynda Rutledge, but next time...maybe I'll take the synopsis with a grain of salt and open the book with no expectations about the story.
**I received this book through a LibraryThing.com Early Reviewer giveaway and have written my honest opinion.