Continuing in the exuberant tradition of Six of One, Bingo, and Loose Lips, New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown returns to her much-loved fictional hamlet of Runnymede, whose memorable citizens are welcoming both the end of the Great War and the beginning of a new era.
The night a riot breaks out at the Capitol Theater movie house—during a Mary Pickford picture, no less—you can bet that the Hunsenmeir sisters, Louise and Julia, are nearby. Known locally as Wheezie and Juts, the inimitable, irrepressible, distinctly freethinking sisters and their delightful circle of friends are coming of age in a shifting world—and are determined to understand their place in it. Across town, the well-to-do Chalfonte siblings are preparing for the upcoming wedding of brother Curtis. But for youngest sister Celeste, the celebration brings about a change she never expected and a lesson about love she’ll not soon forget.
Set against the backdrop of America emerging from World War I, Cakewalk is an outrageous and affecting novel about a small town where ideas of sin and virtue, love and sex, men and women, politics and religion, can be as divided as the Mason-Dixon Line that runs right through it—and where there’s no problem that can’t be cured by a good yarn and an even better scotch. With her signature Southern voice, Rita Mae Brown deftly weaves generations of family stories into a spirited patchwork quilt of not-so-simple but joyously rich life.
Praise for Cakewalk
“[Cakewalk] is brimming over with [Rita Mae Brown’s] distinctive Southern voice that infuses every page with merriment, which allows her vibrant characters to take over the story and touch readers’ hearts. Her depictions of the inhabitants and the era are pitch-perfect as are the many subplots. Readers will feel as if they are living in Runnymede; running around with the teenagers, eavesdropping on the matrons planning the annual cakewalk and hiding in the closet of the wealthy families. An utterly delightful story.”—RT Book Reviews
“Brown has said that the Runnymede novels, starting with Six of One, are the ones she was born to write. . . . This is more loving domestic comedy of small-town life when times were simpler. Recommended for fans of Brown and beyond.”—Library Journal
“A delightful romp through small-town America, with all of its gossips and laughs, passions and rivalries, and through it all the importance of the thread of family.”—Historical Novels Review
“A feel-good novel told by an expert storyteller who delights in creating colorful and quirky characters.”—Shelf Awareness
“Two independent and free-thinking sisters, Louise and Julia Hunsenmeir (called Wheezie and Juts), push against the old-fashioned ways of drinking, dancing, and courting. . . . Characters were inspired by Brown’s own mother and sister, adding realism and depth to this uplifting story. Fans of Amy Hill Heath and Mary Kay Andrews will eat up this multigenerational ‘slice-of-life’ novel.”—Booklist
“There seems to be no end to [Rita Mae Brown’s] imagination, inventiveness, or storytelling artistry. . . . What is [Cakewalk] about? Life, love, baseball, war, peace, good whiskey, fashion, sex, religion, friendship–all in a rollicking and lively story that just keeps rolling along at a brisk pace. Ms. Brown paints such vivid scenes. . . . [Cakewalk is] entertaining, outrageous, thought-provoking, nostalgic, and great fun.”—My Merri Way