Book Review: ‘Miss Julia Happily Ever After’ by Ann B. Ross

About The Book

The delightful final installment of the beloved and New York Times bestselling Miss Julia series.

Wedding fever hits Abbotsville and several of Miss Julia’s friends have plans to tie the knot. But, as usual, nothing is so simple. Christy Hargrove suddenly gives up a lifelong dream and drops out of medical school to marry, Helen Stroud and Thurlow Jones decide to change their commercial arrangement into a marital one, and, to Miss Julia’s consternation, Lillian, her housekeeper and closest companion, is considering a less-than-romantic offer to wed a local businessman who turns courting into a job interview. And then there’s LuAnne who just wants to be married, and Janelle who doesn’t.

Miss Julia wants to properly celebrate each ceremony, insofar as anyone will let her. But Helen wants a private, even secretive, wedding; Christy’s fiancé wants a destination wedding, and Lillian can’t decide if she wants a wedding at all. In the middle of it all, a strange figure keeps showing up in town, streaking across lawns and vandalizing the gardens of Miss Julia’s neighbors. Abbotsville’s liveliest resident finds herself trying to solve it all—matters of the heart and petty crime alike—and once again save the day.

About Ann B. Ross
Ann is the mother of two daughters and one son, and the grandmother of four grandsons (including twin boys) and two granddaughters, both of whom are her namesakes. When her children were in college, she decided to complete her own education, enrolling in the University of North Carolina at Asheville where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Literature. Reluctant to return to an empty nest, she continued her education by enrolling in the English Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned both the Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Afterwards, she taught Literature and the Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Ann’s writing career began in the early eighties when two mysteries were published as original paperbacks: THE MURDER CURE and THE MURDER STROKE. A few years later, her first hardcover book was published: THE PILGRIMAGE, an adventure story set in the nineteenth century. All three books are now out of print, but occasionally a used copy of THE PILGRIMAGE appears on Amazon.com for sale.

The publication of the first Miss Julia book, MISS JULIA SPEAKS HER MIND in 1999, set Ann on a full-time writing career. This book went through six reprintings in less than a year, and was ranked #9 on the Independent Booksellers’ seventy-six most highly recommended books for 1999. In addition, the book was named to the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers list. The paperback edition of the same book was listed in The Best Books of the First Five Years by BookSense, as one of the titles independent booksellers most enjoyed handselling. The book was also published by Readers Digest Condensed Books, appearing in twelve foreign languages.

MISS JULIA TAKES OVER was one of seven nominees for the Book of the Year Award (2001) by the Southeastern Booksellers Association.

All of the books in the series are available on audiotape and in large-print editions, and are also available through The Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club. All of the books, except the newest one each year, can be found in paperback editions.

MISS JULIA THROWS A WEDDING, MISS JULIA HITS THE ROAD, MISS JULIA MEETS HER MATCH, and MISS JULIA’S SCHOOL OF BEAUTY have all appeared on the New York Times Extended Bestseller List.

All of the books in the series will be published in German, Japanese, and Croatian editions, as well as on audiotape (in English) and in large print editions.

Inspiration for the escapades of Ann’s much-loved character, Miss Julia, comes in all manner of ways — a chance remark by a friend or family member, an incident she happens to see, in a dream, or by being reminded of something in her past experiences. It is always deeply satisfying to her when scenes in the book she is working on suddenly seem to fit together to make a good story. She does not outline or make detailed plans before starting a story. She does, however, have a general plot in mind before beginning to write, but this usually entails only the conflict and the final resolution, with few ideas of how they will be worked out. So, with just the beginning and the end of a book decided on, Ann relies on the characters themselves to fill in the middle with first one subplot after another. This, she says, is the joy of writing — when a character suddenly does or says something unexpectedly, leading her to funny and surprising ‘mini-scenes’ that seem to delight readers.

Ann was once asked by an interviewer how she knew when something she’d written was good. She replied, “I know it’s good when I fall off my chair laughing.” From that response, we can be sure that she enjoys writing about her characters as much as we enjoy reading about them.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

I have been a fan of Miss Julia a very long time. I own them all and they sit proudly on my shelves. Ann B. Ross says she is not a funny person, but she sure makes for a hilarious good time with her Miss Julia books. I love each one on its own merit. I read sections aloud to my husband and anyone else who will listen. I am from SC and still live here, not very far from the author and I am familiar with all her southern colloquillisms. (Sp?) I love these folks so much and so much hate saying goodbye to them, for the fly leaf states that this is the finale. Alas! What will we do without a new Miss Julia book to read every April? I look forward to each new release all year. Not to be missed. Well done!

Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Length: 336 pages
Buy Link: Miss Julia Happily Ever After: A Novel – Kindle edition by Ross, Ann B.. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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