I hadn't read a book for literally years when Carole Townsend's first book, Southern Fried White Trash, was released last year. Since I had been invited to the launch party, I decided to set aside an afternoon and read it. Turns out, I didn't need a full afternoon. It was light, quick, easy reading and I was so glad I had taken the time to treat myself. I loved it.
So after I had been invited to an information gathering party for her second book, Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear, I decided when it was published I would give myself an afternoon and zip through this one too.
Well, it didn't turn out that way. While Townsend's first book was light and easy reading, this one is a lot deeper - no less enjoyable - but definitely deeper.
Townsend said it started off as a light look at the advice women received from their own mothers - hence the title Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear. We all remember that advice, right? But that's not quite how it ended up. Instead, it's more of a celebration of women, how they've survived - sometimes despite the advice they received from their mothers.
Times are very different now. Much of the advice we were raised on was how to land a man. That's not how it is anymore - and nor is it what we're focused on when it comes to passing along advice to the next generation. However, between the humorous, and sometimes sad, commentry in the book, is the complicated but loving relationship between mothers and daughters and daughters and mothers. The advice may be different, but the relationship is still much the same.
I've no doubt anyone reading it will see themselves, their mothers and in some instances their daughters, in this book. I did. It took me back to the time my daughter would almost spit at me, "I love you," as she slammed the door of the car. She just couldn't leave without saying those words, just in case she never saw me again.
However, the way she said it left no doubt that she really hoped she never would. We've all been there, first with our mothers and then with our daughters. This book takes us back there. It also explores women through their ages - not the ages - and how similar we are even while different.
My advice after reading Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear - put it on your Christmas wish list and pick up a copy for your mother and your daughters while you're at it. I intend to give a copy to my daughter this Christmas. Hopefully, she will see her and I in these pages and remember how we survived. Maybe it will help carry her through the encroaching teen years she's about to face with my granddaughter.
So ladies, when Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear hits the shelves as it's about to, don your cleanest underwear, put on your red lipstick, and head to the bookstore to pick up your copy. You won't be disappointed.
Townsend is a reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post and covers the City of Loganville. She is a regular at the Loganville City Council meetings. She also has has a regular column in the paper called Food for Thought.
- There's a Little White Trash in All of Us