by Claire Fullerton
Little Tea by Claire Fullerton takes readers on a journey of betrayal, young romance, friendship, and racism in the '80s. Ava, Celia, and Renny had been friends since they were thirteen years old. Years after, when Ava struggled with her decision to leave her twenty-three-year marriage, they plan on getting together in Memphis (their hometown). Ava had been with Stan since she was twenty-two, but now she feels that they are in a rut. On reaching Memphis, Ava got back in touch with her ex-boyfriend, Mark. What nobody could have seen was that Celia's ex-boyfriend, Tate, was also in Memphis and was eager to talk to Celia. His presence brought up many memories of the past, sweet and bitter, that Celia had worked hard in keeping buried. Betrayal of Tate, good times with her brother, Hayward, and the heartfelt discussions with her charismatic friend, Little Tea, were the most signiﬁcant of all those recollections. Little Tea by Claire Fullerton is an experience and not just a book. Most of the time, Celia narrates the story, but that does not decrease the importance of other characters. Ava is a capricious woman that brings the fun factor into the plot. Renny is a straightforward woman whose personality oozes control. Celia is a thinker who does not speak without analyzing all the facts. Little Tea, whom Celia considered her best friend, only wishes to get far away from the racism of Memphis. Hayward, Celia's brother, brings calm and joy into the plot. He takes a ﬁrm stand against the racist comments of his family without showing any sign of anger or annoyance.
Claire Fullerton has done a commendable job of discussing the prejudiced opinion of a few privileged sets of people against the black community in the '80s. Although Celia and Hayward can ﬁnd no ﬂaw in Little Tea, not all members of their family tolerate this friendship. Claire Fullerton moves both the present and the ﬂashback parts of the story almost in parallel. Drama, the innocence of youth, the banter of friends, and suspense are my most cherished elements of this book.
--Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
“Claire Fullerton once again delivers an emotional, lyrical tale and proves she’s a writer to watch.”
--Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials
" If Southern fiction is your sweet spot, then Little Tea is the bullseye and Claire Fullerton an expert marksman. Claire Fullerton writes with a depth of character, compassion, and hope.
--Kristy Barrett and Tonni Callan of A Novel Bee.
Fullerton delivers another poignant work of Southern Fiction in Little Tea. With a well-paced narrative and sense of place, we revisit the hard truths of family and friends in the Deep South, where the past is never past.
--Johnnie Bernhard, author of Sisters of the Undertow
Little Tea, set in Como, Mississippi, during the turbulent 1980s, is another brilliant southern family saga from Memphis native and master storyteller Claire Fullerton. Stunning prose, vivid characters, a captivating story, and an ending I never saw coming.
--Susan Cushman, author of Friends of the Library and Cherry Bomb, and editor of Southern Writers on Writing
Little Tea is a simple title that belies a story that is both complex and compelling. Beautifully written, the novel moves seamlessly between the 1980s Memphis and the present, as we become fascinated by the family dynamics, and events that would change the lives of those touched by them. It is a book you will be reluctant to put down, and with some unexpected twists to the story it will keep you captivated to the end.
--Sally Cronin: Author and Book Blogger: Smorgasbord