Somebody Everybody Listens To
2010; Dutton Books (Penguin); ISBN 978-0-525-42242-6 (hardcover)
Summary: For years, everyone in Starling, Tennessee have been asking Retta to sing. She can sound like Dolly or Loretta or Patsy or Tammy--all the greats of country music. Once she graduates from high school, Retta sets out for Nashville, determined to get on the radio. But all her advance studying of the past hasn't taught her much about surviving in the cutthroat world of modern country music. It will take some hard knocks, a few trips back home, the support of her friends, a lot of hard work and a pinch of luck to set Retta on the road to being somebody everybody listens to.
An inspiring, believable look at the perils of a show business career, Somebody Everybody Listens To is a worthy sophomore effort from Suzanne Supplee. Retta's voice is distinct and true, and her personality is full of gumption, determination, and hope. A cast of warm, realistic supporting characters adds depth to the story. Retta's journey is only beginning at the end of the novel--but the reader feels confident that Retta will eventually make her dreams come true. Fans of Supplee's first novel, Artichoke's Heart, will snatch up this book. Pair this with Sorta Like a Rock Star for a master class in writing characters with a specific voice and how to create a heart-warming novel.