- Fizzy Thoughts: Riding with the Queen

Riding with the Queen

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Jennie Shortridge
October 2003
331 pages

Jennie Shortridge has a knack for creating characters I don't particularly like, but that I end up cheering for by the end of the book. They make stupid ass decisions, and then end up growing up and redeeming themselves.

Case in point: Tallie Beck. Tallie is a down on her luck singer who after 17 years away lands back home. On her uptight, resentful sister Jane's doorstep. Before too long she is pissing off her sister with her drinking and smoking and irresponsible behavior. After taking a job at a participatory sing-along bar and moving in with her estranged mother, Tallie sloooooowly starts to work on family relationships and acceptance and her own feelings about who she is and what she wants out of life.

Despite the going-home-and-facing-your-past theme, this is a unique book. As I mentioned, the characters are flawed and not so lovable. Tallie's mom suffered from mental illness and consequently, the girls had a rough childhood. Tallie struggles with forgiveness, despite the fact that her mother on medication and no longer manic. Tallie also struggles with her perception of what a musician is. Eventually, she starts to realize that she can be settled and happy and working in a bar, and still be a successful entertainer.

Riding with the Queen is Shortridge's first book. And I think I like it a little better than Love and Biology. It's characters are quirkier, and while I still didn't really like them, I think I enjoyed them more than the Love and Biology cast.

12 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

Quirky characters are so much fun - in books and in real life!

lilly said...

I will definitely put this book on my TBR list! I really like the the characters that are Tallie and I think I need just a book like that to read as far as making stupid decisions and redeeming oneself go.

Jo-Jo said...

I love quirky characters also. This does sound interesting....thanks for the review.

Beth F said...

I like it when characters grow and change -- and I also like it when my opinion of a character changes by the end of the book. I'll put this on my radar.

Ti said...

Odd characters work for me. Add some inner turmoil and it's a book that is usually right up my alley.

cali said...

I like the title -- it reminds me of John Hiatt's song "Riding with the King."

Ladytink_534 said...

Lol. Love your opening paragraph!

Ramya said...

Sometimes, I like to read about quirky characters.. normal characters have the tendency to make the book boring sometimes.. I am going add this one to my wishlist.. It looks like a "different" read.

Joanne said...

Another one for my TBR list, I like the sounds of the family dynamics in this story.

dawn said...

I've had this on my wish list since I read Jenny's *Love and Biology ...*. Her writing is fantastic. No, I didn't agree with everything Mira did (in L&B), but I love my friends even when they make mistakes!

Veens said...

LOL @ pissing off ehr sister :D :D

Must say- I have read some good reviews :) but yours maes me feel that i won't like this book.. :)

trish said...

What made you pick up this book?

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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