Read Dreaming Southern by Linda Bruckheimer Online


Broke, with their furniture piled into a trailer, Lila Mae Wooten and her four kids hit the road in a 1953 Packard, en route to a land of movie stars, swimming pools, and their share of the American Dream. For the Wootens, heading for the Golden State--and Lila Mae's husband, Roy--by way of Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota, there's no such thing as a direct route.EspecialBroke, with their furniture piled into a trailer, Lila Mae Wooten and her four kids hit the road in a 1953 Packard, en route to a land of movie stars, swimming pools, and their share of the American Dream. For the Wootens, heading for the Golden State--and Lila Mae's husband, Roy--by way of Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota, there's no such thing as a direct route.Especially when they meet Juanita Featherhorse and her pyromaniacal son, Benny. Soon they're all driving toward the Grand Canyon by way of a secret route only Juanita knows. Before they know it, Lila Mae, her children, her trailer, and a car loaded full of magazines, banana peels, paraffin lips, and underwear are balanced on the edge of a steep cliff--with everyone hanging on for dear life.An ode to the American highway as it once was, Dreaming Southern is a novel for anyone who has yearned for the exhilaration and uncertainty of the open road, been lulled by the rhythm of windshield wipers on a rainy western highway, seen the stars above the prairie, smelled roses on a summer night, and sung along with a radio's fading love song. It is for anyone who has felt the thrill of leaving everything behind--and the promise of a new life waiting just around the next bend....

Title : Dreaming Southern
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780452280366
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dreaming Southern Reviews

  • Jenn
    2019-05-20 21:07

    This rambling novel follows a mom and her two kids on a cross country drive to California via Route 66. Becky Jean, her teenage daughter whines and disses her mother from the backseat all the way. There are a few funny scenes, but I read this a long time ago in my early stages of chick-lit discovery. If I were to have read it now, I would have put it down after 50 pages.

  • Melanie
    2019-05-26 17:08

    A quick, easy and quirky read. Good for lazy days reading on the deck or by the pond. Not much substance and kind of felt like the author tried too hard to create atmosphere and time period such that it got a little tedious.

  • Becky
    2019-05-25 18:18

    funny in parts but didn't hold my interest

  • Georgia Dentel
    2019-05-24 16:11

    Entertaining, gives new meaning to the words "Road Trip"

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-16 16:56

    I got to about page 50 and had to stop. The story line was so muddled and unclear and I just couldnt stand it.

  • Aer Bluewilson
    2019-05-18 19:16

    This book was pretty good, due to the ratings and reviews here I thought it was not going to be. I think a major issue with this book is people compare it to Rebecca Wells Ya-Ya Sisterhood series, and that hurts it. You can't go in comparing it to other "Southern" books, like the Ya-Ya books or even Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistlestop Cafe novel. It is not a book that deals with racial (it touches on race very briefly) or even gender issues, it is not about a group of women who bond, or even about two women that bond, although it does portray some interesting relationships in the book. It doesn't show the battles of alcoholism, or drug abuse, or really any type of abuse, well, there is some domestic abuse mentioned concerning a side character. This book is not deep, profound, or disturbing, no one finds "their way" in it, because it is meant to be a lighthearted read about a road trip in the 50's. And I liked it for what it was, a lighthearted read. Another issue I think is people go in thinking of the Deep South because of the other Southern genre books that are popular, these characters come from the mountains and country of Kentucky, where dialect, life style and attitude is totally different. But it also is not stereo-typically "mountain", with the characters running around in overalls, bad teeth, and telling outsiders to "squeal like a pig". They are a typical American family (for the 50's) in many ways, but they are still Kentuckians. The mother protagonist is not the ideal heroine of our times, she has flaws, she is impulsive and can be gullible (However,if you did compare it to Wells Ya-Ya books, you would see that she is a far better mother and person than the mother,Vivi of that series.) She gets in some scrapes that I admit, could of been avoided, but it made entertaining chapters and side characters come about. I think some people also are a bit more critical of the author's credibility as a writer, because she is married to Hollywood's Jerry Bruckheimer, and feel that some strings were pulled to get her published. I think this is unfair because from what I understand, she was a writer before she was Mrs. Bruckheimer, and she is also from Kentucky. I think this book was fun, and was written to be a funny story. I like dark and meaningful too, but sometimes opening a book that is quirky and does not take itself too seriously, is a good change. I liked that the kids were made to be real children, the good and the bad. There are some problems or issues in the book however. There is a old friend character, that she has a somewhat secretive past with and that character makes an appearance in the book, ad then it's left at that, no continuation on that story line or anything.Also the mother has singing talent and was doing shows before she settled down, and yet, that is not elaborated on at all. There is a sequel,that have not read,so maybe the author expands on those incidents in that book. So, I'm giving it 4 stars.

  • Ron Charles
    2019-06-14 22:52

    What a paradox the family car trip is: At what other time are loved ones pressed together so tightly, for so long, with so little to do?Are we there yet?Anyone who's ever driven across the country, knee-deep in Happy Meal wrappers, playing "I Spy" until "I scream," will appreciate the comedy of "Dreaming Southern," Linda Bruckheimer's first novel."Surely, Lila Mae thought to herself, she could handle a car trip across country with a few high-strung, smart-alecky kids." But Lila Mae, mother of exactly four high-strung, smart-alecky kids in a 1953 Packard pulling a trailer that contains everything they own, is as wrong as she is sweet.Fleeing their creditors after a 70-foot-long fly swatter invention fell through, her husband has gone ahead to California, leaving his family to follow from Kentucky.This is not a good plan, but it makes a zany story. Lila Mae has no map and no sense of direction. She cannot drive in reverse, a handicap that severely limits the places she can stop. And she cannot resist the opportunity to befriend and assist every outlandish character they pass.Though her husband made the trip in three days of hard highway driving, Lila Mae is "bound and determined to take Route 66" - singing the song the entire way. She wants to expose her children to "the mighty Mississippi,... Indian reservations and souvenir shops, covered-wagon-shaped motels, and cozy cafes serving homemade cherry pie."Dropping in on kooky relatives, dancing with cowboys, eating in country dives, dodging gunfire, fleeing rattlesnakes, and all the while trying desperately to infuse a little enthusiasm into her bored children, Lila Mea manages to stretch this three day trip out for more than a month. Imagine if Thelma and Louise had brought their kids.Bruckheimer has a good ear for the currents of generosity and ferocity that swirl around the car as the family barrels along the back roads. Poor Becky Jean, the oldest girl, is torn between her adolescent need for guidance and the unsettling suspicion that her mother is a complete nincompoop.Several times the novel's goofy tone recedes long enough for the tender quality of these relationships to demonstrate Bruckheimer's real depth.Even more promising is the author's willingness to take artistic risks, as demonstrated by the end of the story when she suddenly jumps ahead 30 years. Here, the novel shifts from sitcom dialogue to internal monologue. The setting freezes in a suburban house, instead of rambling through a dozen towns. The jarring contrast makes a bittersweet comment about how quickly the children grow up and leave.It's great fun to see a new novelist finding her way, but be prepared for a few inconveniences. There are several wrong turns, of course, and sometimes the ride is rough, but if you're eager for a comic diversion, this is a detour worth taking.

  • Irishcoda
    2019-06-16 21:56

    I totally enjoyed the first part of Dreaming Southern by Linda Bruckheimer. The heroine, Lila Mae Wooten, reminded me of a sort of Lucy Ricardo/Carmichael from Kentucky. She means well but is so scatterbrained and impulsive, she just gets herself and her kids into all kinds of crazy messes. She even has a sort of Ethel-like sidekick with a juvenile delingquent son. I alternated between laughing and rolling my eyes at all the predicaments the Wootens get into because of Lila Mae's desire to see the sights and please her kids. The trouble is ... just when I found myself at what I thought was a truly hilarious cliff hanger, the whole thing stopped. A new story took over then, one taking place about 30 years later. Wait a minute, I wanted to say. That can't be all. What happened to...? and to ...? I was hooked by the opening line: "Usually Lila Mae Wooten had to scream bloody murder before her kids would pay any attention to her at all..." A lot of us moms have felt that way, right? I was really disappointed, though, because I felt like I walked into a booby trap and fell down a tiger trap or something.Oh well.

  • Gail Griffith
    2019-05-29 23:07

    A bit of a bore

  • Michael Alan Grapin
    2019-05-25 20:15

    Lila Mae and Roy Hooten found themselves in financial straights and decided to escape from Kentucky to California a step or two ahead of the creditors. Roy went ahead and managed the trip in three days by car. Lila Mae drove their Packard, towing a trailer with their meager possessions, joined by their four children ranging from infant to fifteen years old. Unlike Roy, Lila Mae took the most circuitous route possible befriending strangers along the way much to the chagrin of her long suffering children. The adventures become increasingly outlandish until things came to an abrupt halt short of their destination. There followed a shift in perspective as the now elderly Lila Mae looks back on her life as she contemplates her end.I wasn't expecting much from this book because of the number of poor ratings it received from fellow Goodreads members, but I found the story both engaging and amusing.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-18 22:56

    Normally books about southern women are some of my favorites, as only Joshilyn Jackson, Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, Dorothea Benton Frank, and many others can depict. I was excited by the title, and that is about where my excitement ended. The main character is a twit, she is trying to make it to California to be with her husband and ends up on all of these ridiculous side trips, and "adopting" many characters along the way. As if the ridiculousness of this trip wasn't bad enough, the author shows us the main character at the end picking out her burial plot and planning her funeral. This complete nonsensical book was a complete and utter waste of paper and of my time. I wish that I had stopped reading it before its ludicrousness irked me to the point that it did and I had to finish it just to prove I could... don't waste your time...I look forward to hearing the echo of this book in the library book drop, maybe that noise will be more satisfying than the book.

  • Kristal
    2019-05-31 15:52

    Lila Mae's husband has left Kentucky leaving her instructions to pack up the kids and their belongings into the car and follow him out to California. It only took him three days. But Lila Mae has a completely different map in her head and she ends up all over the place - Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and New Mexico. In each location, trouble and adventure seem to follow her and her brood of sassy children.The story started out as a cute, chick-lit story but after awhile, things just got down-right boring. The troubles and adventures were not plotted out very well and had no interesting aspects about them. And then the abrupt fast forward to Lila Mae as an old woman was just too rushed and felt forced. Very disappointing.

  • Sara
    2019-05-27 22:49

    Hilarious road trip book that will resonate with anything who was alive in the 1950s, grew up in the South or had a charismatic relative who was able to persuade her family and total strangers to accompany her on wild adventures. Lila Mae and her brood of 4 children set out by car, hauling a trailer full of furniture and personal belongings to join her husband in California. Their trip includes many detours based on her romantic wish to travel Route 66, her kids desire to go to the Grand Canyon via the "back way" and a last minute pilgrimage to see the dying daughter of one of their passengers who is in an iron lung with polio. This is a debut novel by an author that I will follow!

  • Evelyn Porter
    2019-05-26 22:53

    The first 2/3 of the book is very enjoyable. We meet a woman from Kentucky and her four sassy children, piling into an old 1950's car, hitched to a trailer, and embarking on a grand adventure to rejoin the husband / father in California. At a very critical moment in the book, the author changes gears and time periods. The reader ends up wondering what happened and where is the remainder of the story leading us. Readers who grew up prior to the 80's will enjoy the sense of nostalgia, old song lyrics, and memories of driving down Route 66.

  • Kelly Waldschmidt
    2019-05-27 20:03

    I was excited by the title and the cover of the book. The first few pages in, I felt like this wasn't for me. I really do not care for the main character, she bugs me. I am only 19 pages in and am giving up. I usually push through and make myself finish a book, or at least, get through half before I quit, but I'm not feeling it. After reading several Good Read reviews of this book, it seems like I am not the only one feeling this way. I read the reviews hoping to see some positive reinforcements, something to keep me invested in finishing it, but I didn't.

  • Kipahni
    2019-05-17 00:17

    Old Southerner's have the art of talking down. They can ramble on and on and weave in and out of stories before arriving at the main point, leaving the listener entertained if not a little exhausted. Much like this book, it rambles with no clear destination in mind and just when you feel like finally you understand the main theme, it just drops and feels flat. A quick read, slightly charming and could even make a good abc family movie, but otherwise don't waste your time.

  • Linda Johnson
    2019-05-18 17:01

    It took me a while to get into this book, but I ended up enjoying it. The first half is quite funny and the second half is quite sad. One thing that did bother me is that Lila Mae's kids, especially the eldest, Becky Jean, at times seemed just downright cruel to their mother and I thought that way too much time was focused on Lila Mae picking out her burial plot at the end of the book, but overall it was a light, mindless read. I'm still trying to figure out what the plot was though...

  • Tara
    2019-06-13 20:51

    I read about 5 chapters and decided I am just not the right demographic for this book. It was supposed to be a laugh out loud funny book about a southern family traveling to California. I just could not get into the story or identify with the characters. I think if I was from the south or remembered life in the 1950's this book may have been more interesting.

  • Cynthia
    2019-06-14 00:03

    I honestly didn't find the humor in this book. I kept waiting for a plot to develop and every time the storyline started to go in a certain direction it was dropped cold. The second part jumped ahead some 30+ years and I hoped it would tie up some loose ends but was a total waste of time. I very seldom do not recommend a book, but this time is one of them.

  • Patty
    2019-05-23 00:02

    At first I laughed and laughed as I read this book because so many of the phrases were those I heard during my growing up years in small town, KY. Then the author just seemed to ramble aimlessly. Mostly I just didn't think she tied events together enough to weave a story. Still I laughed a lot...

  • Emily
    2019-05-17 17:51

    Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for something somewhat mindless and fluffy. Whatever the reason, this book just never caught my attention. It was somewhat rambling and silly. I think that was the idea. If you like rambling and silly, go for it. Otherwise, there are a whole lot of other good books out there.

  • Joselle173
    2019-05-18 16:59

    A quick read about a Kentucky Mom and her four kids moving across country to CA on a road trip in the early 1950s. Hysterical at some points. I didn't care for the ending - sort of falls apart, which was a disappointment with the first 2/3rds of it being really good. Still worth the read though.

  • Suzanne
    2019-05-25 16:49

    Never "got" this book. Kept reading it, kept reading it, kept reading it (until I actually finished it) thinking it would get better, tie it all together & make sense. It never ever did. Very frustrating.

  • Cheryl
    2019-06-03 00:06

    It's difficult to rate this book. The first part is definitely 3 or 4 stars--but it takes a sharp turn near the end and goes from funny and entertaining to wistful and rather sad. It's well-written, but I was hoping for a less somber ending.

  • Amy
    2019-06-08 17:50

    I trtied. Honestly. But if I saw one more double name (Becky Jean, Lila Mae, Irene GAye, Billy Cooper...and that's just in the first four pages!) I thought I'd scream. Not all of us in the south go by two first names. Cripes.

  • Angela
    2019-05-24 16:58

    This was a fun read. It took me a minute to get into it though. She starts you off right in the midst of travel and leaving their home behind. She's driving to California to her husband and she has her four children with her. All sorts of crazy things happen to them on there way.

  • Posey
    2019-06-05 18:51

    I got about three quarters of the way through the book and gave up. Boring!

  • F.R. Southerland
    2019-06-01 22:03

    Loved the story until the last chapter.

  • Cindy
    2019-06-07 17:51

    Hoo-eeee, now that's what I call a road trip!

  • Jen
    2019-05-27 18:57

    I gave up. The first few pages were so mind-numbingly awful and based on the reviews here, it doesn't get better.