Cotillion: A formal gathering of bright young women on the verge of entering adulthood, the society pages, and prospective high-tax-bracket marriages. Think a Civil War reenactment with crisp, clean white dresses.
Catfight: An impromptu gathering of not-so-young women on the verge of losing their cool. Think a cotillion with hair-pulling.
It’s been more than a year since the Kudzu Debutantes exacted sweet, merciless revenge on their cheating husbands, but the repercussions are still palpable throughout Ithaca, Georgia: Nita is anxiously preparing herself for marriage to Jimmy Lee, a man thirteen years her junior; Lavonne, despite having dropped her husband–and eighty pounds–and launched her own business, longs for love; and while Eadie remains married to Trevor, she feels more neglected than ever.
So the occasion of Nita’s second wedding seems like just the ticket to cheer up the disconsolate Debs. But they’ve made a formidable enemy in Virginia Broadwell, first lady of Ithaca and the bride’s ex-mother-in-law. Hell-bent on vengeance and determined to restore old-school social mores, Virginia hatches a plan so devious it makes her pedicured toes curl in anticipation.
Soon enough, the women are knocked for a loop–but you can keep a Kudzu Debutante down for only so long. The one thing stronger than Virginia’s wrath is the bond between the three friends, who soon learn that one of Virginia’s Jimmy Choos contains an irresistible Achilles’ heel. With spirit, wit, and down-home gumption, the take-no-prisoners trio decides it’s time to ditch their cotillion manners as they rally to save Nita’s marriage, Lavone’s business, Eadie’s sanity . . . and the honor of Kudzu Debs the world over.
Packed with authentic Southern flavor and characters as colorful as an azalea in full bloom, The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes serves up stinging one-liners and earthy wisdom in equal measure.
kud • zu \kud-zü\ n: a ubiquitous vine/weed found in Southern climes that, left uncontrolled, will grow over any fixed object in its path, including trees, power lines, and the entire state of Georgia.
deb•u•tante \de-byu-tänt\ n: a young woman making a debut into society, easily spotted in white dress and pearl necklace. Common names include Muffy, Bootsy, and Bunny.
Eadie Boone is no shrinking violet. An artist and former beauty queen who married into one of the first families of Ithaca, Georgia, she tackles everything with gusto and flair. But tailing her wayward husband proves to be, well, an exasperating chore. If only Trevor would just see the light, dump his twenty-two-year-old hussy, and return home, Eadie’s creative energy could be put to better use. Now all she has to do is convince him.
Nita Broadwell, a good Southern girl from a good Southern family, is jolted out of complacency when she discovers condoms in her husband’s shirt pocket (“Maybe he’d found them on the ground and picked them up”). Between clinging to denial and dodging her overbearing mother-in-law, Nita is also trying to break her addiction to steamy bodice-ripper novels. Only now it appears she’s authoring her own real-life romance tale with a hunky handyman thirteen years her junior.
Lavonne Zibolsky–a transplanted Yankee, bless her heart–is saddled with planning the annual Broadwell & Boone law firm party. That and her lackluster marriage have her seeking solace in the contents of her refrigerator. If she could just put down the Rocky Road ice cream and peach pie, she might get around to finding a caterer, dropping sixty pounds, and figuring out how to fall in love with her husband again. Not necessarily in that order.
Bonded by years of friendship, these three women discover what else they have in common: lying, cheating spouses. So they heed their collective betrayals as a wake-up call and band together to exact sweet revenge. The take-charge trio will see to it that the punishment is just, exquisitely humiliating, and downright hilarious.
Cathy Holton’s debut novel is a delicious yarn of friendship and marriage, secrets and retribution, and how nothing stays hidden for long. Against a Southern backdrop of gentility and decorum, Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes dares to abandon Junior League social graces in ways that would make even Scarlett O’Hara blush.
"It’s great fun reading about these women as they trade their tea for tequila and get smart, get out, and get even, with amusing, and surprising results." –Nancy Thayer, author of The Hot Flash Club
"Sly, smart, and full of great characters — and then there’s that sweet, sweet revenge. Getting even has never been so creative. Or delicious." –Louise Shaffer, author of The Ladies of Garrison Gardens