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Questions and Topics for Discussion

Admitting that she is a relatively new teacher at North Penn, Young explained that she plans to let students see a different side of the engineering world. Reflecting on her accomplishments thus far in life, Young gave a final piece of advice to those around her. Her enthusiasm for teaching and learning was evident from day one. It is so awesome to see her reaching this goal at North Penn and having this opportunity to work with lots of young people to get them excited about their options in this field, too. Congratulations, Julia!!

The Engineering department has definitely gained an asset. If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


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Name required. Email Address required. Speak your mind. Emily Biddle dancing through life. Meet the Robinsons: Ali and Zoe. Muth, a leader in the pool and in the classroom. Shinners seeks to improve her community. Alayna Faison: Queen of the Court. Diana James: a presidential panther. She watches J. Always leery about the staying power of this marriage, the current chaotic circumstances make her even more anxious.

And—as we all know by now—when Julia frets, she plots. And she acts. Remember that old nursery rhyme about the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead? But when she was bad, she was horrid. The problem is that Hazel Marie is as inept in the kitchen as is humanly possible. My guess is that author Ann B. This is a woman who, when told that she could double a recipe for baked pork chops, asks Julia if she should also double the oven temperature. They Lord. That does it. Julia hops in the car, determined to drive around town until she can find him to confront him.

In the process she forgets her cell phone and ignores that her gas tank is almost empty. This creates a perfect storm of events that results in her stumbling into the middle of an undercover sting operation that J. Furious with her for nearly mucking things up and endangering herself, J. Of course he was working on a case. Of course Hazel Marie knows all about it. And of course their marriage is still very much intact. During his two-week absence she manages—with Etta Mae as sidekick—to pull off not one but two rescue capers. The first—in which they rescue J.

Book Review: Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind

Pickens, of all people—starts with a barely intelligible phone call to her that seems to be asking her to call Sgt. With help from Coleman, she determines that J. The only information Coleman can get is that the local sheriff thinks J. This book bears a copyright; by then, Call Waiting was surely available in the greater Asheville, NC, area.

And we know the book is set in the present, since author Ann B. Ross makes references to texting, MapQuest, and so forth. Their caper involves a disguise, a brazen masquerade, fortuitous timing of another patient on the loose, and some creative manipulation of a heavily sedated J. The sensitive location of J. Now what? After a rollicking first half, I found the second half a bit of a letdown. For one thing, the anxiety over whether Sheriff McAfee will come after J. Mildred Allen tells Julia what she knows about Adam and his family:.

But…none of them are rebellious. Earlier, when McAfee mentions a niece in Fairfield, we see where Ross is headed. The idea is to test the limits of what the body can take. He also interviews J. During his visit he becomes J. The rescue consists of a late-night visit by Julia, Ardis, and Etta Mae to the compound after an unintelligible distress call to Julia from Adam. Reports Julia:. Adam is found, drunk and sporting a large metal earring implanted in an earlobe.

Eventually he recovers from both and gets back on the straight-and-narrow under the guiding hand of his father. This book, like most not just the Miss Julia books , is a victim of less than perfect proofreading. Either the proofreader gets glazed-over eyes, starts reading too fast, or some combination thereof. There was his large mohagony desk and chair, right where I wanted them….

How did that one get missed? Sounds like what one might endure while wearing a certain type of woolen undershirt. They Lord , as Julia would say. Unless an author wants lots of mail—of the wrong type—she has to make sure to get the names of real places right. When she was a college professor, Ann B. Ross likely came down hard on her students for turning in papers with sloppy errors in them. At least I hope so. Every single time, she ends up seeing that keeping her mouth shut was either unnecessary or a bad idea.

And yet…she never learns. Her checking account balance is down to zero. One is the apparent refusal of the bank to show her the transactions in question so she can match the numbers of the questionable checks to her check register. Then comes the real doozy: The bank reports Julia, a longtime valued customer, to the sheriff for writing bad checks. As inept and wrong-headed as Lt. Note to author Ann B. Give your readers more credit. In the midst of this crisis, Sam once again out of town—how does he do it? Does Julia tell him? I refrained, assuring myself that the bank would surely admit its mistake eventually….

The two baby girls, Julie and Lily Mae, were delivered at home by Lillian and Etta Mae during a blizzard; Coleman arrived soon afterwards to take mother and babies to the hospital in his four-wheeler. Maybe it was just as well because the more I thought about it, the less eager I was for him to know he was married to a woman with a mug shot and a record. How many times does she have to put herself through the wringer before she gets it through her thick skull that The Truth Shall Set You Free?

You can tell that I find this trait of Julia neither funny nor charming.

Miss Julia Series: Ann B. Ross

In Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle , the chickens finally come home to roost. Two years ago, Julia withheld from Sam that she invested a large sum with real estate investor Richard Stroud. Now, two years later, an unidentified man has been found dead of a heart attack, as later determined in a backyard shed. When Sam learns from Lt.

He is so angry about the secrets she keeps, and the way she withholds information from him, that he even implies he suspects something went on between her and Richard. With that he moves back to his old house, doing exactly what Julia has always feared would happen if she did confide in him. Oh, the irony of it.

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Is he really that angry with her, or is he trying to teach her a lesson about what it feels like not to be trusted? Will he come back to her? If so, has she finally learned her lesson? And will things ever be the same between them again? She figures the only way to get him back is to prove to him that there was never anything between her and Richard. In other words, by doing precisely the kind of thing that got Sam all torqued up in the first place.

She ends up in a very funny adventure during which she discovers that Helen is in fact romantically involved, but not with Sam. I love you and I miss you too, but you keep too much to yourself. I sometimes feel that Lillian knows more about you than I do. She promises to mend her ways. Nevertheless, she decides to withhold from him the details of her second adventure, but fortunately Sam makes it easy for Julia to do that.


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The lucky guy is Thurlow Jones, and they are getting married. I admit to being appalled at some of the thoughts Ann B. W esley Lloyd Springer died suddenly on a Thursday evening in the driveway of his home. His wife of forty-four years, Julia, discovered him slumped over the steering wheel of his new Buick Park Avenue. As she browsed through mail-order catalogues, deciding what items to order, she thought about all the years her husband had given her a paltry household allowance and refused to have air conditioning installed in the house because of the expense.

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

Now that Julia knew precisely how much money her hard-working and respectable husband left her, she intended to spend some of her fortune and enjoy the rest of her life. Author Ann B. A skinny little boy with a brown paper grocery bag in his hand stood behind her. Mistaking Hazel for a door-to-door magazine subscription salesperson, Julia was prepared to politely tell Hazel that she was not interested in purchasing any subscriptions, when Hazel blurted out her intent to enroll in beauty school in Raleigh and leave the young boy with Julia. As Julia sighed deeply, she took a good look at the young boy and realized there was no point in denying the obvious: He looked exactly like her late husband, sans the air of self-confidence and success.

My good friend, Robin, channeled Miss Julie for our book club's discussion of the first book in the series.

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind was a delightful surprise! Rather than being just the frothy, fun read that I anticipated, the book had surprising depth and poignancy. The first installment in the popular series broaches many sociological issues, especially those relevant to women, and provided ample material for our book club, Lodi Literature and Liquor, to spend the afternoon discussing and debating. Miss Julia is a formidable woman, a respected member of her small Southern community.

At the very beginning of the story, she describes herself as a proud widow, entitled to that pride because she made a good choice when she agreed to marry the late Mr. Based upon the way she was raised, Miss Julia has always believed in very specific values and a particular way of life. Her husband took care of business matters while she devoted herself to running their home, and being active in the Presbyterian Church, along with other local organizations. Her small-town life was characterized by adherence to duty, routine, respectability, and predictability. But Miss Julia has barely had an opportunity to adjust to her new life as a very wealthy widow when everything she has believed and accepted as true up to that point is brought into question with the revelation that her late husband was involved with another woman for many years.

Soon, Miss Julia learns that he provided Hazel with a home and fathered her child.