Cover image for Wedding belles a novel
Wedding belles a novel
Smith, Haywood, 1949-
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Publication Information:
New York, NY : Macmillan Audio, [2008]

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10 audio discs (13 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Friends since high school, Georgia, Linda, Diane, Teeny, and Pru can depend on each other for anything. This support comes in handy when Georgia's 28-year-old daughter becomes shockingly engaged to Wade, a man that her mother and friends went to school with. Having seen him sow his very wild oats, Georgia et al are none too pleased for him to be engaged to Callie.
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Duration: 13:00:00.
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The "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Red Hat Club" fearlessly takes on mothers and daughters, wedding madness, and midlife passion in this frank, funny, and fabulous novel.

Georgia, Linda, Diane, Teeny, and Pru have been best friends since high school, and never have they needed one another more. Georgia's precious twenty-eight-year-old daughter, Callie, has gone and gotten engaged. Usually this would be cause for celebration. After all, this is the South, where dreams of white dresses and wedding bells are as important as finding the perfect hat. But Callie's intended groom just happens to be a man "they" went to high school and college with: Wild Man Wade These women know more about the groom than the bride does. His drunken shenanigans. His wild oats. And "all" of his conquests as well as his mistakes. They can imagine him in the most inappropriate of circumstances, but not as a son-in-law

With absolutely hilarious Southern observances and dead-on wit about mothers, daughters, marriage, and families, "Wedding Belles" will have you laughing and crying whether you live above or below the Mason-Dixon line.


Diane, Georgia, Linda, Pru, and Teeny have been friends since high school and continue to lean on each other well into their adult years. This support comes in handy when Georgia's 28-year-old daughter becomes unexpectedly engaged to Wade, a man old enough to be her father.

Author Notes

Haywood Smith is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Red Hat Club and The Red Hat Club Rides Again. She lives in Buford, Georgia.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Atlanta chapter of the Red Hat Club--Georgia, Teeny, Diane, Linda and Pru--meets again, sharing tea and sympathy in Smith's wry sequel to The Red Hat Club Rides Again. A frantic Georgia takes center stage as she deals with the disturbing news that her 27-year-old daughter, Callie, is engaged to 60-year-old Wade "Wild Man" Bowman. Wade, a successful florist, is also a recovering alcoholic and a divorced father with adult children and a "warehouse" full of baggage. Georgia tries to halt the nuptials, but her interference leads to unfortunate repercussions. Pru, meanwhile, becomes an instant grandmother when one of her son's ex-flings turns up, gravely ill, with a sweet little girl; and Linda endures an annoying visit from her widowed cousin. Smith's fizzy exploration of enduring friendship and family signals more changes ahead for Georgia, her family and the red hat matrons. Fans of the series will enjoy and look forward to the next. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

A bad case of wedding-bell blues has colored Georgia's Red Hat world when her daughter Callie announces her engagement to Wade aka Wild Man Bowman, a divorced man old enough to be her father. The fact that he actually is her father's best friend is only one of the complications unnerving Georgia, who all too clearly remembers the alcohol-infused, womanizing college days that earned Wade his nickname and reputation. As visions of Wade's youthful indiscretions dance nonstop through Georgia's head, she enlists the help of fellow Red Hat friends Teeny, Diane, Linda, and Pru to help her find a way to stop the wedding. However, when Callie finds out the lengths to which Georgia is willing to go, she decides that it's her mother who must be stopped instead. As Callie's wedding nears, Georgia must learn how to make peace with her friend's past for the sake of her daughter's future. Another heartwarming and hilarious installment in Smith's beloved Red Hat series.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2008 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Smith here finishes her "Red Hat Club" trilogy (The Red Hat Club; The Red Hat Club Rides Again), reuniting narrator Georgia Baker with her four best friends, women who meet monthly at Atlanta's Swan Coach House Restaurant to celebrate life. They support one another, cheer for one another, and help each other through the good and bad. This time, Georgia is the one who needs help; her brilliant 28-year-old daughter has announced her intentions of becoming the third wife of her father's best friend from college, "Wild Man" Wade. Georgia, a true drama queen, has a detective investigate her future son-in-law's past. What could go wrong during all the parties, snooping, and a wedding with a groom older than his mother-in-law? Smith's latest, filled with humor, a few tears, and some prayers, will delight her fans. The warm, satisfying story will also find new readers, who can easily catch up with Georgia and her friends. This enjoyable book is recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/08.]--Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One Nobody's perfect. So, a lot of the people on the beach are skinnier than you. Big deal. There's always somebody older and fatter out there, too, so you might as well wear your bathing suit and enjoy yourself .--MY BEST FRIEND, LINDA MURRAYLIKE MOST PEOPLE, I've always thought of the word perfect as an absolute, but there's nothing like a wedding to prove otherwise, especially when the wedding's your daughter's and you know it's a big mistake. Then the term is relative--like disaster .All her life, my second-born, Callie, had been a mother's dream: smart as her physicist father, outgoing as her big brother Jack, principled and salt-of-the-earth sensible as my precious mother-in-law, and gorgeously athletic as my mother--who is still a handsome woman at eighty-four and walks three miles a day, and drives like a New York cabbie in Atlanta traffic.Callie was our perfect daughter. Never in her life had she given us serious cause to worry.But the word perfect can also mean "completed." Little did I know that my obedient daughter was saving up all her bad-behavior credits to cash them in on one giant bombshell of a boo-boo that would redefine "perfect wedding" in biblical terms, meaning finished, thank-God-it's-finally-over-with.Oh, for a crystal ball! If I could have been absolutely sure my instincts were right, I would have gunnysacked her to keep her from the altar. As it was, I was the one who got gunnysacked. The present. Second Tuesday in January. 10:55 A.M. Muscogee Drive, Atlanta .NORMALLY I LOVE January's sweet, silent stillness after the glittering clutter and excitement of Christmas. Stripped of wretched excess (the only way to decorate for the holidays), my house seems clean and sleek and tranquil. I bask in the new year's quiet order with a long, relaxing breath and look forward to the high spot in my monthly routine, lunch with my lifelong best friends.For the past thirty-something years, since we were pledges in our high school sorority, Linda, Diane, Teeny, and I (and lately Pru, our prodigal) have tended the ties that bind on the second Tuesday of every month at the Swan Coach House Restaurant, where we share laughter, fun, fellowship, frozen fruit salad, and generous doses of "Poor Baby" on a scale of one to five (the only allowable response to whining of any kind).When we all started turning fifty, we decided to wear red hats and purple in honor of Jenny Joseph's wonderful poem "Warning," a delightful declaration of in de pen dence for midlife and beyond. Governed only by our own Twelve Sacred Traditions of Friendship, our luncheons have become a welcome refuge of ac cep tance and sanity-- or occasional insanity, none of which was ever my idea--in this crazy world. And every month, we take turns bringing a joke that's not woman-bashing, and preferably not man-bashing, either.For the past thirty-something years, I've always gotten to the Swan Coach House Restaurant early so I could sip my iced tea or hot lemonade in our regular banquette in the back corner of the main dining room and savor the anticipation of seeing my friends.Until that gray morning last January, when--for the first time ever--I was seriously considering skipping the whole thing. Disconnecting the phone, turning off my cell, taking one of the four sleeping pills I had left from a trip to En gland five years ago, and pulling the covers up over my head.Not that it would do any good to postpone the inevitable, but I couldn't stand the idea of telling anybody, even my best friends, about the dumb thing my brilliant daughter was about to do. Not until I absolutely had to.If I stayed home and took the sleeping pill, it would knock out my internal Chicken Little along with me. She'd been dithering away in hyper-drive ever since Callie's New Year's Day announcement.Not that I'm mental or anything, but when it comes to my psyche, I have this constant internal dialogue with pieces of myself that just won't shut up. Chicken Little, my drama queen, and my scolding Inner Puritan hog up the whole house, relegating my Sensible Self and Creative Inner Child to the shed out back.It occurs to me that some people might think it odd, especially when I argue with myself aloud, but it works for me. I mean, it's not like I believe I'm hearing voices. I know it's all me. I talk to machines, too--all the time--but that's not crazy. It's only crazy when you think they talk back. Unless they really do, which happens more and more often these days.Nevertheless, on that second Tuesday morning last January, my Sensible Self managed to push her way into the parlor and urged me--for the fiftieth time since Callie's announcement--to look at the big picture and remember how blessed my family was.We were all healthy and productive. Callie had finished her doctorate in theoretical mathematics and landed a job teaching at Oglethorpe in the fall. Our twenty-nine-year-old son Jack was happily building Home Depots all over America. My husband John and I had a fabulous love affair going that had waited till midlife to burst into flame. John had tenure teaching physics at Georgia Tech. We had finally paid off the mortgage. God was in His heaven. And I had four steadfast friends to help get me through this.Maybe I ought to go to the luncheon after all.As usual, Chicken Little ignored all the blessings, only to squawk, Callie's making the mistake of her life! She has no idea what she's getting into! Linda and Teeny and Pru will know the minute they slap eyes on you that something's seriously wrong .All I've ever wanted to do was keep a low profile, but no such luck. It's a curse, having a face that hides nothing.I could always call an MYOB (Mind your own business: Sacred Tradition of Friendship Number Five). But then my loyal friends would probably worry up all kinds of drastic things.If I simply played hooky, they'd send out the bloodhounds. But if I called to cancel, they'd expect an explanation. When it came to our monthly friendship fix, the only acceptable excuses were foreign travel, jury duty, chemo, moving away, or hospitalization.Standing at the mirror in the foyer of my little house on Muscogee Drive, I reapplied my nonfeathering red lipstick for the third time and prayed with as much conviction as I could muster for the grace to accept Callie's choice. But God and I both knew my heart wasn't really in it. So I ended up reminding Him yet again that this whole thing couldn't be a good idea.The Lord and I have that kind of a relationship. I speak my mind, and He loves me anyway and runs the Universe as He sees fit, whether I agree with Him or not.Things could certainly be worse. Linda's daughter Abby had quit Agnes Scott six months short of graduating with honors to become a hairdresser and move in with (and later marry) her Jewish mother's nightmare: a lapsed-Moslem Rastafarian tattoo artist whose student visa had expired.Which meant that Linda would certainly be able to empathize, but that offered cold comfort. Nobody really wants to hear, "It could be worse."I sighed in resignation. As the Beatles said, "Oh-blah-dee, oh-blah-dah, life goes on," so I decided to suck it up and go to my luncheon.I picked up my red felt picture hat. Maybe just this once, I could keep from blabbing everything.Other people's secrets, I could keep, but not my own. Still, just because I hadn't ever been able to do it before didn't mean I couldn't do it now. There's a first time for everything.Grabbing my red pocketbook, I resolved to develop a pleasant, impenetrable mask on the way. I could do this. After all, I'd managed to keep from telling Mama so far.Oh, lord. How would I ever tell Mama?Excerpted from Wedding Belles by Haywood SmithCopyright (c) 2008 by Haywood SmithPublished in 2008 by St. Martin's PressAll rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher. Excerpted from Wedding Belles by Haywood Smith All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.