Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Little Help from Your Friends:"The Happy Hour Choir" by Sally Kilpatrick

Beulah Land plays the piano and sings at a local honky-tonk bar called the Fountain. It sits across the street from  the County Line Methodist Church, a place that was part of her past and that's where she wants to keep it, but one evening, while playing country songs and requests from the regulars, a man walks in, a very attractive one, who orders a beer and sits down to listen. When Bill, the proprietor of the Fountain, calls for Beulah's signature song, the one she was named after, the old hymn, "Beulah Land"... this new guy frowns, even as all the patrons sing along with her. He doesn't like her risqué spin on it. "What are you?" she questions "Some kind of preacher?" "Fully ordained" he replies.
Thus begins this engaging and heartfelt story filled with equally engaging and heartfelt characters. Beulah, having gone through a teen pregnancy and kicked out by her preacher father and unforgiving mother has the good luck to be rescued and taken in by her piano teacher, Ginger Belmont, an old lady with spirit, gumption and the ability to straight talk anyone who deserved it, no matter their standing in the community.  Beulah is devoted to Ginger, and despairing at the fact that Ginger is ailing. Ginger, though, is not one to lie down and give up. She has some business to take care of first, like maybe getting Beulah fixed up with someone nice and possibly saving some other people out there that need rescuing. Ginger is one of those wonderful women you want in your corner. In fact, I think we all need a Ginger telling it like it is and bossing us around but only with our best interests at heart.
There's a lot more to author Sally Kilpatrick's The Happy Hour Choir, but, as is my policy, you've got to go get a copy to find out what happens and also enjoy the company of  Beulah, Ginger, Luke (the preacher) and a whole lot of other interesting types you'll meet hanging in and around the Fountain. This one's a great summer-time read. Heck, it's a great read anytime of year!
Thanks to NetGalley for the DRC!

This may not be Beulah's version of this old song but thanks to Youtube I found this very sweet version by Hope Montana singing at the Baker Creek Festival:

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