Fair and Tender Ladies

Fair and Tender Ladies

by Lee Smith

Other Format

$123.75 View All Available Formats & Editions
1 New & Used Starting at $32.66


Ivy Rowe, Virginia mountain girl, then wife, mother, and finally "Mawmaw," never strays far from her home-but the letters she writes take her across the country and over the ocean. Writing "to hold onto what's passing," she tells stories that are rich with the life of Appalachia in words that are colloquial, often misspelled, but always beautiful.

From childhood, when teachers encouraged her gift for language, to her rebellious teenage years when she swore against motherhood-only to then become a mother-and on through life, Ivy writes with insight, honesty, and a passion for living that is sure to be infectious.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402556777
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 06/29/2004
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Lee Smith was born in Grundy, VA. She is author of many novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Last Girls, and most recently Guests On Earth. She is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Fair and Tender Ladies 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time. Someday it will receive the recognition it deserves. Lee Smith's prose drips from the page, it is so beautifully wrought. The novel is made up of letters written by Ivy Rowe, one of the most vivid and wonderful characters in American literature. The letters are written to penpals, sisters, even to the letter-writer herself. Do not miss this book. Absolutely spell-binding and wonderful
BttflyofKYCW More than 1 year ago
I was required to read this book my senior year of high school. I loved this book so much that I ended up buying. I read it to my husband when we got married :D and I have read it a few times since then. This is just one of those stories that touches your heart and stays with you for a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ivy is a force to be reckoned with. I love this powerful strong storytelling by this female.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ivy is insane! I loved this book even though I wanted to scream at Ivy. I laughed and I cried. A great Appalachian story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my top ten. I love Ivy Rowe. She taught me so much about life, about myself. For years after I first read this book I missed having Ivy in my life. It's a book you never want to end.
Smiley-in-the-Sunshine More than 1 year ago
Poignant story of an Appalachian woman and what it might have been like for someone with few material but many rich spiritual and cultural resources to move through the circumstanes of pre-WW II -- although fictional, the character breathes and the reader is compelled to care -- particularly relevant to those who value a realistic understanding of women born into poverty -- will change the minds of people who judge others by socioeconomic circumstances alone --highly recommend-- will be reading all the author, Lee Smith, has written
emilyray More than 1 year ago
This is definitely one of my favorite books. It is beautifully written and includes engaging characters whom you will learn to love and hate.
sarahfig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great Book, tugged at my heart.
ldenham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book written completely in letters over the course of Ivy Rowe's life in Appalachia whose lines occasionally reminded me of direct Grandmother Ila quotes. Ivy actually struck me as extraordinarily selfish and was sadly unable to appreciate the devotion others showed her (until late in the game...). Surely not the case, but because of the journalistic style, Ivy appeared to spend most of her life in conversation with herself! I liked the book, but didn't fall for Ivy the way the rest of the world has...
melopher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book near to broke my heart. I love Appalachian tales, and this was no different. I was skeptical in the beginning, because the misspellings didn't seem logical and made it difficult to read. Of course, it wasn't long before Ivy grew up a bit, learned a bit more, and spelling wasn't an issue. I wasn't in love with any of the characters in this book, but the storytelling won me over. I had some confusion with a couple of the characters and some dates/ages, but that's probably because I was reading too fast. Somehow, the way the author told the story through letters discussing the "highlights" of Ivy's life made it more real, and made me see the day to day stuff all the more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books. The life and personality of the lead character is very multi-faceted and believable. This is no one dimensional character but someone with whom I connected on an intimate level, even though my life has little in common with hers. The storytelling device used here may be off-putting to some people. The book is written entirely in letters, but this in no way detracts from the story and in many ways, enhances it. Perhaps the biggest barrier to some readers may be Ms. Smith's use of the dialect of the SW Virginia mountains. This is an important part of the writing because it enables the writer to understand the main character and her background, and to observe the changes in her as the story progresses. This is a truly great novel and I consider it to be a classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this novel gets off to a slow start, I think if you stick with it, you'll quickly get involved with the characters and learn to love them.