Tied to the Tracks by Rosina Lippi

Tied to the Tracks by Rosina Lippi: Book Cover

Back of the book: Angie Mangiamele runs a film company in Hoboken, New Jersey — a long way (in more ways than one) from Ogilvie, Georgia. But a new project has brought her to this small Southern town, where she stands out like a fire truck in a flower garden.
She’s been invited to Ogilvie by Miss Zula Bragg, the intensely private literary legend who’s agreed to appear in a documentary made by Angie’s highly unconventional crew. And there’s someone else in town Angie looks forward to seeing: John Grant, a descendant of Ogilvie’s founders, with whom she had a long-ago summer romance. But John’s wedding to the daughter of a prominent local family is just days away, and promises to be the sleepy town’s social event of the year. What could possibly go right?
Tied to the Tracks is the name of Angie’s documentary film company. In those old-time movies where someone is ‘tied to the tracks’ there was always a story of how that person came to be ‘tied to the tracks’. That’s what the film makers strive to do in their documentaries – tell the story. I found that very clever and funny – which is how I found the entire book. I liked the characters, cheered for most of them as well as booed and hissed the villains (keeping in the mood of the title and all). Rosina Lippi is a wonderful storyteller.

The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi

The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi: Book Cover

Book flap: When Julia Darrow’s life in Chicago falls apart, she moves to small-town South Carolina and opens a shop specializing in luxury linens. Five years later she’s satisfied with the life she’s made for herself: Cocoon is doing very well; she wears designer pajamas all day, every day; she’s got a houseful of foster dogs; and she has friendly, efficient, if quirky, employees and all the other Lambert Square shop owners to occupy her. Julia has no interest in going anywhere.
John Dodge grew up an army brat and he’s still a rover: the idea of sticking to one place gives him hives. He makes a living moving around the country, fixing up small businesses on the brink of disaster. The newest venture to capture his imagination is an odd little shop that specializes in collectible pens, located in a renovated printing plant in the Deep South. He arrives in Lambert Square on a sunny fall day, and on his first morning there he runs into bellicose fishermen, curious tourists, a former underwear model who is now the no-nonsense mayor, a dozen friendly new neighbors full of advice on how to clean his bathtub and where to go to church, and Julia Darrow, walking across Lambert Square, in pajamas. When he goes to Cocoon to introduce himself, Dodge ends up spending a fortune on linen and asking Julia out to dinner. He takes her refusal in stride, but he also comes away with the distinct sense that there’s something going on with this woman from Chicago, something below the surface that she never lets anybody see. He is warned, right from the start: Don’t set your sights on our Julia. She’s shut up tight as a Chinese puzzle box, nary a seam to be seen.
But Dodge likes puzzles, and he’s really good at fixing things. There is a collision in the making, and all of Lambert Square is watching.
The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square is why I like to read. It is an entertaining tale filled with interesting and humorous characters. Rosina Lippi has a talent for local color. I felt like I was in Lamb’s Corner, shopping in Lambert Square and enjoying a meal at Annabeth Tindell’s place.

And then there is the story of Julia and (John) Dodge. But you need to find out about that on your own. I found myself smiling through much of this book. If you’re looking for a book to take you away, Pajama Girls’ would be a great choice.