Loose Lips Paperback – May 2 2000
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In Bingo and Six of One, Rita Mae Brown made a name for herself--and the unforgettable Hunsenmeir sisters--with her talented depictions of early 1940s life in a small southern town. Now, in Loose Lips, we follow the continuously strained relationship of the outrageous siblings, Julia (Juts) and Louise (Wheezie).
Juts and Wheezie can't pass up a chance to push each other's buttons, and their joint ownership of a beauty salon in this latest installment creates many opportunities to do so. As Wheezie faces her 40th birthday with grim denial, Juts considers motherhood, and the rest of the town braces for their inevitable clashes.
Brown's snappy dialogue and artful situations skillfully communicate the surprising complexity of small town life and sibling relationships. Between the moments of straight comedy (a panicked confusion between bombers and geese makes a great running joke), the meatier issues of adoption, fidelity, piety, and, most importantly, loyalty, are considered, making Loose Lips both a hilarious and heartfelt read. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
They're back! The irrepressible Hunsenmeir sisters of Runnymede, the fictional town straddling the Maryland-Pennsylvania line, are literally in fighting form after a long hiatus. Louise and Julia (Juts), both in their thirties in 1941, squabble at the town soda fountain and cause almost $400 (in 1941 dollars!) in damages in just the opening pages. In the 11 years spanned here, Hansford Hunsenmeir returns years after abandoning his wife and daughters, Louise copes with daughter Mary's first love and daughter Maizie's confusion, childless Juts and husband Chester adopt Nicole, and the sisters' Civil War Patrol duty provides endless town gossip after Louise mistakes a flock of geese for German Stukas and the alarm rouses Chester from his mistress's bed. This is neither prequel nor sequel to either Six of One (LJ 9/1/78), which introduces Runnymede's residents, or its sequel Bingo (LJ 10/15/88) but basically a loving, laugh-provoking expansion of years covered in the former. Time has honed Brown's literary skills but not lessened her love for these characters, and she has a winner here.
-AMichele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Arlington, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Six of One introduced Julia and Louise Hunsenmeir, fondly known as Juts and Wheezie, an indomitable pair of quarreling sisters born around the turn-of-the-century in Runnymede, Maryland. The ensemble cast featured Cora, their strong and caring single mother, housekeeper of Celeste; the formidable Celeste Chalfonte, a lesbian without apology, and her lover, the elegantly beautiful Ramelle Bowman; Fairy Thatcher and Fannie Jump Creighton, ever-scheming schoolchums of Celeste; and in later chapters, Chessie and Pearlie, long-suffering husbands of Juts and Wheezie. Spanning almost a century, we watch the madcap life of Juts and Wheezie take them from small tots following their mother around in Celeste's Georgian mansion to the birth of their own children and the mayhem that follows, to Juts and Wheezie as old cronies, still tangling in their 80's.
Continuing the story in Bingo, Brown brings Runnymede back to life with Juts' daughter, Nicole, better known as Nickel. The cast, while still containing Juts and Wheezie as central figures, leaves a bit to be desired when compared to Six of One, and the storyline dwells a bit too much on newer characters who aren't quite as developed. Bingo is a an enjoyable read, but never catches fire like Six of One.
Enter Loose Lips.
In Brown's latest, the storyline picks up in 1941. Juts and Wheezie have entered adulthood, matrimony and maturity - or what resembles maturity for the Hunsenmeir sisters.Read more ›
It is important to note that in reading this late edition brings enjoyment in understanding the journey Rita has taken as an author. It makes much sense to me that she would revisit this story line and tell us more stories about a period of time in the Hunsenmeier relationship that was lacking a bit. I applaud Rita's talent and her courage to take us back a bit further in a hindsighted tale that still brings chuckles and laughter to the reader.
You'll like this book, but you'll like it better if you have not read the other two installments in the series.
"Loose Lips" begins in 1939, not long before the US entered WWII. The Hunsenmeier sisters are already grown, and Wheezie's two daughters, Mary and Maizie, are soon to leave her house. The primary relationships explored in this book are the ones between Juts and Wheezie and between Juts and her adopted daughter, Nickel. Unfortunately, we don't learn anything new about the relationship between sisters, and the mother-daughter relationship comes into the book pretty late. As Nickel develops into a headstrong little kid, the book gets more interesting, but I didn't really feel like it was worth slogging through the disappointing retellings of great stories like the night of Nicekl's adoption. For better entertainment than this book offers, re-read the first two books ("Six of One" and "Bingo",) and then read Brown's autobiography "Rita Will."
Most recent customer reviews
Six of One is superior to Loose Lips. I'd recommend (re-)reading that instead. The characters are more fully drawn, the wit is sharper, and the story is just plain better.Published on Sept. 25 2002 by S. Hill
If you enjoy the power of sisterhood, the complexity of women and lots of silly Southern humor, this is the book for you. A downright darn good read (which I did in one day! Read morePublished on July 13 2002 by CMH_1001
Ahh, small town life! Stradling the Mason-Dixon line, Runnymeade makes it's own rules which suits the main characters perfectly. Read morePublished on July 6 2001 by Karen K. Whitmoyer
The third installment in Brown's Runnymeade series is the best written and most thoughtful yet. The human-ness of her characters, their trials and their steadfast attachment to... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2001
I absolutely loved the first two books with Juts and Wheezie. When I read them both, I laughed out loud over and over, literally till tears ran down my cheeks. Read morePublished on June 7 2000 by Jules
Another Rita Mae masterpiece. Jutz & Wheezie once again square off with dynamic and often hysterically funny exchanges. Read morePublished on Dec 27 1999 by Susann M. Saghatelian
This book is much better than Six of One or Bingo; Brown is getting less preachy as time goes by. This book's events occur before the events in Bingo; however, it roughly... Read morePublished on Dec 21 1999
These two sisters were funny, frustrating, sensitive, pig-headed...in other words, real. Their lives and those of their family and friends made a great read.Published on Dec 11 1999