Miss Hildreth Wore Brown

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown
by Olivia deBelle Byrd
Published 2010 by Morgan James Publishing
176 pages. Paperback
Rating: 4/5

With storytelling written in the finest Southern tradition from the soap operas of Chandler Street in the quaint town of Gainesville, Georgia, to a country store on the Alabama state line, Olivia deBelle Byrd delves with wit and amusement into the world of the Deep South with all its unique idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms.

The characters who dance across the pages range from Great-Aunt Lottie Mae, who is as “old-fashioned and opinionated as the day is long,” to Mrs. Brewton, who calls everyone “dahling” whether they are darling or not, to Isabella with her penchant for mint juleps and drama.

Humorous anecdotes from a Christmas coffee, where one can converse with a lady who has Christmas trees with blinking lights dangling from her ears, to Sunday church, where a mink coat is mistaken for possum, will delight Southerners and baffle many a non-Southerner. There is the proverbial Southern beauty pageant, where even a six-month-old can win a tiara, to a funeral faux pas of the iron clad Southern rule-one never wears white after Labor Day and, dear gussy, most certainly not to a funeral.

I found Ms. Byrd’s book entertaining and very relatable, being a Southern girl myself. Though our generations differ a little bit, I can’t help but find we still have some Southern customs in common. For instance, though I know there are plenty of people who no longer recognize the rule of no white between Labor Day and Easter, I just can’t bring myself to do it. You will never catch me wearing a white dress, wearing white shoes, or carrying a white purse anytime between Labor Day and Easter. Just this year, I was eagerly awaiting Easter so that I could wear my adorable white eyelet dress to church and wear my favorite dress to work (white with a blue floral print, for anyone interested). Another point I truly related to was the bit about viewings (or wakes, as they are called in North). I attended a viewing a couple of months ago, and I swear the first item of discussion among the women was the red dress the woman was buried in. Though the dress was rather pretty, I think the main point of discussion was whether or not red was the appropriate color to be buried in. Only Southern women could be concerned about things like this.

The book is set up with separate chapters, each one a fun new subject. Some are about the kinds of characters you may run into in the South (some of which could easily be interchanged with my own relatives) and some are about the kinds of behavior you may run into in the South (I promise, I can attest to much of it). The book is full of personality. I feel like Ms. Byrd and I have already met. I will say that there is the occasional tangent, but after the first few times it’s easy to see that’s just part of the personality. I recommend it for both those familiar with the South and those who aren’t. Even if you can’t relate, it will be a nice look at our humorous Southern customs.

Prude Filter: There’s nothing to worry about here! It’s good, clean fun.

Source: author
Author’s website: http://www.oliviadebellebyrd.com/
Purchase this book: Book Depository | Amazon

Leave a comment


  1. This sounds like a really fun read! Great review.

  2. I like the sound of the quirkiness of this book – and that the author got the Southern details just right too!


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