Book Review by Dixie Holder
Destin antiques shop owner Ann Miller Hopkins has written her first novel. She wrote about what she knows- other than antiques- Southern beauty pageants. “I borrowed everyone’s humorous pageant stories for this book. I knew it was funny when I laughed out loud while proof reading,” said the author, a former Miss Alabama.
In this hilarious, coming of age again novel, Abby Copenhaven is a forty-nine-year-old pageant judge. Throughout her crazy predicaments on the rural beauty circuit, she makes everything into an omen which might change her life.
The contestants are an endless supply of material for her comic sarcasm. Anecdotes of former pageant years provide a glimpse into a less secure and more complicated Abby. People she has loved along the way raise her expectations in life. Francine, a Sea Island woman who speaks Gullah, and Bernice, a retired rodeo rider, add to her understanding of women outside the shallow pageant arena. Still, her favorite companion is a Bernese Mountain dog, her buffer against the real world. When she meets charismatic Texas attorney, Tom Ross, he confuses her search for omens with an electric physical attraction neither has felt before. But once her critical juices start flowing, Abby finds it hard to stop judging and embrace a love and life she could never have imagined. This short, Southern novel is a perfect beach read. You may find yourself laughing out loud. Judge Not is available at Hopkins’ shop, Antiques on Holiday, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.