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Cold Sassy Tree

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Cold Sassy Tree, a novel by Olive Ann Burns, is an incredible story about the southern town of Cold Sassy, and a young man named Will Tweedy. In 1906, fourteen year old Will Tweedy is just starting to realize what it means to be a man, and all the responsibility that comes along with growing up.

In Cold Sassy GA, the town is filled with gossip surrounding the town's newest newlyweds. Will Tweedy finds himself eyewitness to it all. Grandpa E Rucker Blakeslee has 'tied the knot' with the young milliner, Miss Love Simpson. With it being only three weeks after the death of his last wife, the family and town alike are shocked. Confused but curious about it all, Will observes what it means to be husband and wife and what it really means to love. Puzzled by the secrets shared between the two, he tries to figure out just why Grandpa Blakeslee asked Miss Love for her hand in marriage and why she even agreed. While Grandpa Blakeslee is experiencing his second adolescence, Will is trying to make it through his first. When Will gets hit by a train and is still alive to tell about it, Grandpa Blakeslee gives him a lesson on God's Will. And Will starts to realize not everyone interprets things the same way. When the mill child, Lightfoot crosses Will's path his heart skips a beat. With all Will's new found attractions and desires he decided to try his luck with the girls. That's when he experiences his first kiss, and also his first heartbreak. After the innocent Uncle Camp kill's himself due to Aunt Loma's constant criticism, Will starts to question how he treats people. He starts to wonder if maybe he helped his uncle pull the trigger. Soon after that Grandpa Blakeslee's store isn't doing all that well. Two unidentified strangers come and rob Grandpa Blakeslee blind, in the process beating him up 'something awful'. With his weakness effecting his immune system, he catches a bad case of pneumonia and soon passes away. But not before Miss Love could tell him what he had been waiting to hear his whole life.... He would soon have a son to carry on the family name. Not at all scared of death or the unknown, Grandpa Blakeslee orders a letter to be read concerning his funeral and remains. But to everyone's surprise he orders the cheapest and lowest class funeral and orders himself nothing, but a wooden box. Wanting no one to mourn over him and everyone to know that he was dead, he ordered a party. Will Tweedy surprised by the quickness of it all learned to accept his new way of life, and looked forward to caring for his new baby uncle.

Mr. E Rucker Blakeslee's marriage to Miss. Love caused a big conflict in the small town of Cold Sassy GA. People weren't sure how they should act around a widower how got married 'before his wife was hardly cold in the grave.' This external conflict the author created was enough to stay through the whole story. Mr. Blakeslee and Miss. Love's marriage kept the whole town talking. And when the family found out not only that he was engaged to his wife so soon, but also that they had eloped, the whole family became upset about what their church and town would think, and the terrible reputation that would be bought upon the family. While everyone else was outraged at the whole ordeal, Will Tweedy believed it was a great idea 'the sooner the better'. Mr. Blakeslee wanted a wife, someone to cook and care for him in his older days, so he wouldn't be a burden upon his family. He wasn't about to let someone tell him he couldn't have what he wanted so badly. As you progress through the story you come to find that not only did he want a maid but also someone to love. He cared for Miss. Love even before his other wife was dead he noticed her. Toward the end of the book before the death of Mr. Blakeslee people come to realize that



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