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Review: Bless Your Heart, Tramp

May 8, 2009


Bless Your Heart Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments by Celia Rivenbark is a quick, fun read that will have you laughing out loud.  It isn’t really a novel; it’s a collection of 3 and 4 page humorous observations about life, told from the female perspective.  At first, I thought you’d have to have some familiarity with the Deep South to understand it, but quickly discovered I was wrong.   (There are some passages that may be lost on non-Southerners, though.)  I found myself laughing out loud and reading passages to other people as I read this book.  This will give you an idea of what the book’s like:

Men, for instance, will never understand Basic Women’s Economics.  I cannot tell you how often I have tried to explain to my husband how it possible to actually SAVE money by spending it.

Instead of seeing that I spent $200 on $300 worth of clothes that were on sale and applauding my shopping savvy, my husband thinks we’re still out $200.

He’s so crazy.

I must explain that the title of this book comes from the Southern practice of tempering even the mildest insult with “Bless his/her heart.”  Bless her heart sounds so sweet, but it really signifies disapproval.   I have to confess that I am guilty of peppering my every day speech with this term, so when I saw this book, I knew it was for me.  I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who needs a light, funny read.

Celia Rivenbark lives in North Carolina and writes a weekly column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News.  She is the author of four books.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2009 6:23 am

    Great quote. This sounds fun and I’m not from the South. I’ll have to look for it at the library.

  2. May 8, 2009 6:44 am

    Totally understand the “bless his/her heart” double meaning!

    I must admit I would have passed this one on the shelf, but after reading your review I think it is one that I would enjoy reading on a stressful day when all I want to do is unwind a little bit.

  3. May 8, 2009 6:58 am

    ha…this one sounds really good. Love the title. And good to know that it could be enjoyed by non-Southerners. I might as well add this to my wishlist.

  4. May 8, 2009 7:21 am

    Your quote is perfect! I tell my husband the same thing all of the time. Rather than say how much I’ve spent, I show him my purchases and tell him how much I’ve saved. He claims I’m going to save him into the poor house!

  5. May 8, 2009 7:45 am

    Love the quote! I have the same problem with my husband. I’m going shopping today so I have a feeling I’ll be hearing that very soon 🙂

  6. May 8, 2009 7:54 am

    I read Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank and thought it was HILARIOUS. Perhaps I should read this one for the Southern Reading Challenge.

    LOVE the quote.

  7. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:37 am

    This sounds great. I’ve never lived in the south (although technically No. Virginia is aouth I’m not counting it :)) so maybe this will help me understand. And thanks for the tip about bless your heart!

  8. May 8, 2009 8:43 am

    This one sounds a bit like the Sweet Potato Queens books. I love southern women telling stories. Thanks for alerting me to this one!

  9. May 8, 2009 9:39 am

    lol! That sounds like a fun book to read!:) Thanks for the review!

  10. May 8, 2009 9:50 am

    This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for sharing!

  11. May 8, 2009 10:44 am

    Isn’t good to have a fun book once in a while? I’m a mid-westerner and I grew up with the simple “Bless you” used in the same way.

  12. May 8, 2009 11:05 am

    I hear that “Bless your heart” bit all the time. I don’t think they approve of me, down here. LOL

  13. May 8, 2009 12:36 pm

    Haha this book looks so fun! I’d always noticed that most of the members of my family that live in the country (think rural farmland) use the saying “bless his/her heart” when talking about someone either really stupid, really strange or a person who drinks a little more than they should. It seems to be very popular still among the older generation, but not so much for the under-20’s.

  14. May 8, 2009 12:57 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever uttered the words “bless his/her heart” in my life, meant kindly or disparagingly, so I’m glad you explained that. Even the title of this book would have been lost on this northerner!

  15. May 8, 2009 1:43 pm

    The title of this one really stopped me dead. LOL. Sounds like a fun read.

  16. Carol permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:43 pm

    I loved the title, then I read your review, now I have to go out and buy it.

  17. May 8, 2009 2:06 pm

    Sounds like a fun book!

  18. May 8, 2009 2:25 pm

    The title sounds like something Joan Rivers would say! This sounds like a fun read and I can relate to that quote! I have to remind my husband all the time what we’re saving when I buy things on sale!

  19. May 8, 2009 2:58 pm

    This sounds like a fun book…I’m going to have to remember that phrase as being a tone of disapproval…Bless her heart! lol

  20. May 8, 2009 3:01 pm

    This one sounds like fun, and a nice diversion for when I get into one of my I-miss-Tennessee moods :-). Thanks for the review!

  21. May 8, 2009 3:15 pm

    I am definitely using this expression at work. No one will figure it out, and even if they do, they are not confrontational.
    I could use a couple of laughs, so I may have to pivk this one up. Thanks 🙂

  22. May 8, 2009 7:26 pm

    This was a fun book. Celia Rivenbark is hysterical.

  23. May 8, 2009 7:28 pm

    Silly men!! This sounds like a fun read for sure!!!

  24. May 9, 2009 12:26 am

    I fell in love with Celia Rivenbark when I read Belle Weather. I ran out and got a copy of Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like A Skank but my aunt bummed it off me before I have had a chance to read it. My name is on the PBS wait list for this book and I am so glad to hear that it is as funny as I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to get it! 😀

  25. May 9, 2009 2:46 pm

    This one does sound like a fun book!

  26. May 10, 2009 1:42 am

    I was drawn right away by the title. It sounds hilarious. Btw, hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day!


  27. May 10, 2009 9:01 pm

    Love the cover, love the title – it sounds like a hoot!

  28. May 10, 2009 11:06 pm

    sounds great–and i’ve read one of rivenbark’s other books–it was hilarious! i’m putting this book to the top of my list. thanks and happy mother’s day!

  29. May 11, 2009 1:01 pm

    The book sounds adorable! I used Bless her/your heart in a sweet endearing way. However I said it to a friend from back East in the South about another friend and she laughed…so I think she thought I meant it the other way. Too funny. I am sold on the book. I must get a copy.

  30. May 16, 2009 11:57 am

    I have We’re Just Like You Only Prettier somewhere. This one sounds good too!

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