Successful playwright, television writer, and comedienne, Anna Fields dishes out a Southern-fried memoir about growing up too smart and rebellious for her North Carolina small town in Confessions of a Rebel Debutante.
During childhood the author claimed the “tomboy” label, only then to describe her adolescent self as being “outspoken” and “bookish” rebelling against the strict rules at her private all-girls finishing school. Anna tried to be a proper Deb, even making it through the first Cotillion. Yet, when viewed as too “liberal” and “uppity,” she didn’t make the cut for the ultimate Debutante Ball.
That’s the backstory and this is the synopsis of Confessions of a Rebel Debutante:
A strict regimen of Southern-belle grooming should have prepared Anna Fields for a lifetime of ladylike behavior.
But it didn’t.
As it turned out, Anna—a smart, outspoken, bookish girl—was a dud at debbing. After being kicked out of cotillion classes, the “Rebel Deb” left North Carolina to seek her fortune. Her first stop was Brown University —right in the heart of Yankee-land—and then the crazy world of Hollywood talent agencies and celebrity-packed restaurants. After a disastrous stint as Diana Ross’s personal assistant, Anna headed off to the Big Apple, where she worked for one of Bravo’s Real Housewives. It’s a rollicking, unlikely success story from a natural-born storyteller.
Sharp, sweet, and sassy, Confessions of a Rebel Debutante proves you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!
Please take a look at the glowing Press.
The South is known for its storytellers and Anna Fields is another talented one as she writes her “rags-to-riches,” almost Cinderella-like story. Of course there isn’t a wicked step-mother or even step-sisters in this tale, but all of Anna’s quirky relatives are much more entertaining and — more importantly — they’re real!
Written in a chronological format, this memoir has a distinct stream-of-conscious feel as the rebel deb’s voice delights with humorous details or becomes serious in relating past problems. For this book applies to every girl — living below or above the Mason-Dixon line — who didn’t quite fit in and was proud of it.
As Anna shares her sweet, bittersweet, and deeply poignant tales, she often refers to her role model of Scarlett O’Hara and frequently asks herself, “what would Scarlett do?” The answer is usually anything that will maintain the rebel deb’s strong confidence in herself. Because, when interviewed by BUST Magazine in May 2010, the author defined a rebel debutante as:
“She’s a woman who will bake a cake, clean a rifle, and drive a stick shift with a smile. She’s a mix of masculine and feminine, strong and soft—like all real women.”
However one strong tenet, revealed in the memoir, is that a rebel deb will not be content to simply stay home and birth babies. Oh no, she’s first destined to be true to herself. And where does that energy and determination come from? Within that same BUST Magazine article, Anna admits:
“I keep my eye on the ball. I stop worrying about what bad things can happen and start taking risks. I consider these to be investments in myself and in my happiness, instead of in fear. I stop competing with others, wondering what others are thinking about me, or what they’re doing. My self-love, my self-confidence, does not depend on others—it comes from God, and it lives within me. With that in mind, I know that I can overcome anything.”
Indeed she can and does, proving herself time after time by coming out on top. And, for the most part, the author accomplishes it all with her polite southern charm intact. For as the book’s description explains:
You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!
With her homespun tales and smart, experienced wisdom, Anna Fields’ story, though rooted in North Carolina, can resonate with any reader, anywhere. Every region of our country has its own distinct identity passed down by generations of ethnic family traditions. Unique, eccentric, and larger-than-life lovable relatives can be found at almost any holiday gathering. Embarrassing secrets are shared and scorned as younger generations seek to rebel against their past if only to say they can succeed on their own.
Confessions of a Rebel Debutante takes readers on the author’s journey, while nudging out our own personal, growing-up memories along the way. So travel down south with Anna who never took that final deb curtsy but realized that “You can’t bend the rules without learning them first.”
[Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters not only remains on The New York Times Bestseller List but has moved from #15 to #14 this week. Have you read it yet? If possible, do treat yourself....it's delicious!]
Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Anna Fields’ Confessions of a Rebel Debutante in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, . Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.