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The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc    by Loraine Despres Amazon.com order for
Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc
by Loraine Despres
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2002 (2001)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Rule Number 59 of The Southern Belle's Handbook says 'It's okay for a woman to know her place. She just doesn't have to stay there.' Sissy LeBlanc adds to her handbook whenever an appropriate thought crosses her mind. She is Belle Cantrell's granddaughter. You might have met Belle she is the heroine of author Loraine Despres' second novel, The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell. Though I have read these two books out of sequence, that doesn't diminish the delightful pleasure I got out of each.

Both Belle and Sissy rebel at social mores that dictate their behavior. In Scandalous Summer, Sissy rekindles a high school romance after years of marriage to PeeWee LeBlanc. After three children with a frankly boring husband who bows to his father's every wish, Sissy is ready to kick over the traces and change her life. But a dilemma stops her. How can she leave Peewee? When he has been a faithful husband and loving father for fourteen years? Her actions would destroy him. His father would ridicule him at every turn. Not that his father is above reproach.

Sissy is a good woman thrust into a situation not really of her choosing. Her Southern Belle's Handbook allows her to vent without any repercussions. How many of us have wished for a different life? How many of us have the verve to act on those wishes? The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc offers an escape of sorts for women in a flagging marriage.

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