Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes"

Not long ago I came across a copy of the book "Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes" (2000), a collection of short stories by Deborah Smith, Donna Ball, Nancy Knight, Sandra Chastain, Debra Dixon and Virginia Ellis. I usually don't much care for short stories, preferring to read a novel or non-fiction book on a single topic, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories over the weekend!

Of course one reason I enjoyed them so much is that they're southern, yet I have a feeling the memories of home, family, community and growing up will resonate with readers no matter where they are from. The first short story, "The Jesus Shoes" by Sandra Chastain, recalls a memorable session of Vacation Bible School. Her memories took me back to Mrs. Jenny Newbern's VBS class where I sang "Onward Christian Soldiers" and learned to make crafts out of popsicle sticks and dry macaroni pieces, beginner craft skills which have served me well in life.

My favorite story in the book was the last one, "Sweet Tea" by Debra Dixon, which tells of a snooty northern visitor who belittles her southern hosts and gets, shall we say, a little something special in her dinner beverage. I won't spoil the surprise in case some of you decide to read this book, but I have always loved watching an "uppity" person get her comeuppance. In my experience, snobs come in all shapes and sizes and certainly from all regions of the country, including mine, but snobbery is simply a sign of bad character no matter where the person's from. The simple life lessons shared in this book were just plain fun to read, and now I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up to this book. Are you a fan of short stories?


  1. This sounds like a fun book to read, and yes I do like to read short stories. I find they're a nice break from a novel and not much different than the length of some magazine articles.

  2. Like you, I'd rather read a novel than short stories, but Deborah Smith is one of my favorite authors.

  3. Those short stories do sound like fun! I usually read novels, but now and then a good group of short stories is a nice break.

  4. I am probably like you when it comes to short stories. However, if this book crosses my path I won't reject it. Oh macaroni art in bible school. Smiling! I have a cousin that found when she became engaged to her future husband and they visited their parents homes, the same exact macaroni art made in bible school many years earlier. They were in the same class, but didn't officially know each other until college. I just love that macaroni art story.

  5. I am not a fan of short stories either, but the title was certainly intriguing. I'll look for that one!

  6. The title of this book would make me want to read it. I honestly don't think I've read many short stories since college.


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