Augusta Trobaugh, The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society Reviews

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“The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 24/08/2006

The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society
Augusta Trobaugh
Plume, August 2006, $14.00
ISBN: 0452287499

In Tea-Olive, Georgia, the four friends (Beulah, Zion, Wildwood and Sweet) attend church together and enjoy bird watching, and their late buddy Love-Divine bequests to the Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society a patch of land, the King's Woods Birds Sanctuary. If the club breaks up the town obtains the parcel to do what they want with it.

Retired New York Judge Hyson Breed moves to the town where he courts Sweet; they marry and he gains control of her family estate, which he plans to develop. Hyson isolates Sweet from her bird watching pals and becomes a favorite of the town merchants and leaders. Beulah and Zion worry about their friend who never sees anyone, and when they visit her they see the bruises of abuse. Learning more about Hyson's plan to exploit their town like he has their friend, the ladies decide only his death can stop the evil he has brought with him.

Though the cast is stereotyped with the ladies being sweet, caring and pious, and the villain malevolent sinister and devious, readers will laugh at the antics of steel magnolia vigilante justice, as the tea-toting, bible-quoting ladies fumble and bumble in their endeavor to protect their cohort and town. The breezy storyline is fast-paced, as the classic good rural vs. evil urban premise makes for a fine polite (sort of like a southern contemporary Arsenic and Old Lace) regional character driven tale.

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