The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed

The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed, set in a small southern town at midcentury, tells the story of nine year old Susan, for whom the first bright, carefree, promise filled days of summer slowly evolve into a time of innocence lost and childhood illusions shattered Susan s mother is vain and frivolous, her father loving but distracted, and her sister, several years her senThe Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed, set in a small southern town at midcentury, tells the story of nine year old Susan, for whom the first bright, carefree, promise filled days of summer slowly evolve into a time of innocence lost and childhood illusions shattered Susan s mother is vain and frivolous, her father loving but distracted, and her sister, several years her senior, is coping with the first stirrings of serious love Susan s circle of young friends is joined for the summer by Eugene, the frail, strange nephew of a neighbor As the months pass, Susan witnesses the disintegration of her parents marriage and learns from Eugene the cruelty people sometimes resort to Lyrical and fanciful in spite of its dark moments, The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed puts on ample display the remarkable talent that has made Lee Smith one of our most popular writers of fiction.
The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed set in a small southern town at midcentury tells the story of nine year old Susan for whom the first bright carefree promise filled days of summer slowly evolve

  • Title: The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed
  • Author: Lee Smith
  • ISBN: 9780807119358
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Paperback
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      Posted by:Lee Smith
      Published :2018-06-01T13:53:44+00:00

    About the Author

    Lee Smith

    Growing up in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia, nine year old Lee Smith was already writing and selling, for a nickel apiece stories about her neighbors in the coal boomtown of Grundy and the nearby isolated hollers Since 1968, she has published eleven novels, as well as three collections of short stories, and has received many writing awards.The sense of place infusing her novels reveals her insight into and empathy for the people and culture of Appalachia Lee Smith was born in 1944 in Grundy, Virginia, a small coal mining town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, not 10 miles from the Kentucky border The Smith home sat on Main Street, and the Levisa River ran just behind it Her mother, Virginia, was a college graduate who had come to Grundy to teach school Her father, Ernest, a native of the area, operated a dime store And it was in that store that Smith s training as a writer began Through a peephole in the ceiling of the store, Smith would watch and listen to the shoppers, paying close attention to the details of how they talked and dressed and what they said I didn t know any writers, Smith says, but I grew up in the midst of people just talking and talking and talking and telling these stories My Uncle Vern, who was in the legislature, was a famous storyteller, as were others, including my dad It was very local I mean, my mother could make a story out of anything she d go to the grocery store and come home with a story Smith describes herself as a deeply weird child She was an insatiable reader When she was 9 or 10, she wrote her first story, about Adlai Stevenson and Jane Russell heading out west together to become Mormons and embodying the very same themes, Smith says, that concern her even today You know, religion and flight, staying in one place or not staying, containment or flight and religion From Lee Smith s official website.

    225 Comment

    • Laura said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      This is my least favorite Lee Smith book. Having said that, it's better than about 80% of what's out there. It's obviously a first novel, but even here you can see her taste for the odd and her beautiful phrasings and expressive writing. I did enjoy it, but not nearly as much as some of her later works. For me it was a good thing took her down from her pedestal for me! :-)

    • Elaine said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Genre: Literary FictionPublication Date: 1968Number of Pages: 180Geographical Setting: Small southern townTime Period: 1950s or 60sThree Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Child narrator, nostalgic, hauntingPlot Summary: Susan is a typical 9-year-old girl living in a small town in the mid-20th century. She has an active imagination and loves the freedom summer brings. When Eugene, the nephew of one of the neighbors, comes to stay for the summer, Susan brings him into her circle of frien [...]

    • Kathleen said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I remember reading the first few pages of this book sitting in a shopping mall rotunda. It was the year I graduated from high school and I was just delighted with the main character. I still find myself thinking about this book at times. I haven't read other books by Lee Smith, but do think I will give one of her more recent books a try.

    • manatee said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      This well-written book is told from the point of view of a troubled, helpess nine year old. The conclusion is realistic,brutal and disheartening.

    • Ami said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I listened to this audible book only when in my car alone so it took me much longer to finish than is ordinary for me. The person reading the book was excellent. The story was at times scary and the subject matter was disturbing to me so I am going to say more about this story than is usual. A group of children (pre-teens) in a 1960's neighborhood are influenced by a young boy that has come to visit his aunt for the summer. He and his invisible friend lead them to destroy property, introduces se [...]

    • Pat said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      The first of Lee Smith's novels truly does remind one of the writing of Harper Lee and Eudora Welty etc.The languid summer days in the south in the 30's to 40's had started just right for nine year old Susan. A mother she called "the Queen" and her sister Betty "the princess" all lived in the "castle" with her. Her father was living in the basement and his and the Queen's marriage was on the rocks. The rain begins and is relentless throughout the beginning of summer. There is a new kid in town f [...]

    • Kathy said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I really looked forward to reading this book by Lee Smith, who is so well regarded as a southern writer. I came away after I finished with two great skepticisms--over the most important parts of the plot. (Spoilers ahead).1. I didn't believe that the little boy, Eugene, really raped Susan. This was just too convenient. I really analyzed later why I didn't believe it, as I wanted to understand that as a writer. And it related to convenience and the lack of character development of Eugene. He was [...]

    • jess said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      dolly parton recommended this book in an interview she did about her Imagination Library literacy project for kids. she says you just can't get enough books into the hands of children, and frankly, i agree, and then the interviewer asked her what she was reading or if she had any recommendations, and she mentioned Lee Smith. The last day the dogbushes bloomed is a first-person narrative of an nine-year old girl, Susan, in the summertime. Susan has an active fantasy life, and a secret club with t [...]

    • Heathy said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I found this book at a thrift shop and thought the cover looked interesting.As I read the story, it made me feel almost melancholy because Susan's childhood innocence made me miss my own childhood. The way she forms friendships with the creatures at the wading area, wondering where they go after the flood, was so heartbreakingly sweet.It's told from the 1st-person perspective of Susan, a young girl, as she tries to enjoy her summer. After meeting Eugene, a boy who's visiting from out-of-town, he [...]

    • Cheryl said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      There are some books you just don't know how to rate. On the positive side, this book is well written (of course it is--it's by Lee Smith!) and the main character is likable (though a bit hazy on reality). On the negative side, it has some really annoying characters and a couple of vividly unpleasant scenes I could have lived without reading. Someone reviewed it as being akin to To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't think so--not unless Scout was living in a self-created dream world and Dill was a nast [...]

    • Diane said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I'm an admirer of the author and didn't realize this was her first novel, written while still an undergrad. Although it held my interest enough to finish it, it didn't flow for me. As a first novel written at a tender age, though, you certainly wouldn't be surprised that she more than fulfilled the promise shown here.

    • Debby said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I've been a big fan of Lee Smith books for many years. Can't say I fund this, her debut novel written in 1968 if I remember correctly, by any means indicative of her gift as a writer and storyteller.

    • Lisa Neal said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Three and a half starsI wanted to start with the first book by Lee Smith so that's what I did. This book was weirdly poetic and disturbing. I really don't know any other way to describe it. I do know that I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.

    • Erika Harris said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      A friend read this for one of her book clubs and thought I would enjoy it. I did. It is sort of written in the manner of To Kill a Mockingbird in the idea that you see things from how Scout (in this case Susan) saw things.

    • Betty Dickie said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      This was Lee Smith's first book, written while she was still at Hollins, and is not quite as polished as her later works but still wonderful. Told through the eyes of 9 year old Susan it describes the momentous events of one summer.

    • Heather said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Begins as an innocent book about a young girl growing up in the south. Subtly the author weaves in undertones about the complications of family relationships and growing up. Very disturbing innuedos regarding the summer guest of the neighbor.

    • Cecily Bailey said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      great

    • Lynne said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      I loved this book!

    • Betty said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Lee Smith's debut novel rang hollow to me. The narrative voice is meant to be nine years old, but to me it seemed an experiment that the writer couldn't quite pull off.

    • Karen Belom said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Very good.

    • Paula said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Susan is 9 and in a club led by Eugene and his imaginary friend Little ? She is raped. Not a great book.

    • Flea said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      this is the book that got me into Lee Smith. I havent read it in a long time, and seeing the title makes me want to read it again.

    • Marti said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      Checked out from the Franklin College library. Not the Lee Smith I thought.

    • David Ward said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 13:53 PM

      The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed by Lee Smith (LSU Press 1968) (Fiction). This was Lee Smith's first novel, and it certainly reads like a first attempt. Narrator Susan is a young girl in a small Southern town in the mid-twentieth century. One fateful summer, her parents' marriage is crumbling, her older sister is experiencing first love, and a sickly and mysterious boy comes to town to spend the summer with relatives, and he brings an even stranger friend with him. That's a load for one little [...]

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