Dollbaby: A Novel

A Top Ten Finalist for Best Historical Novel, Goodreads Choice Awards, and a LibraryReads and Okra Pick

A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

For fans of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The HelpDollbaby brings to life the charm and unrest of 1960s New Orleans through the eyes of a young girl learning to understand race for the first time.  

By turns uplifting and funny, poignant and full of verve, Dollbaby is a novel readers will take to their hearts.

Meet the Author

LAURA LANE MCNEAL grew up in New Orleans where people laugh a lot, talk with their hands, love good music, good food, and will make up any excuse for a party. After receiving two undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University, she went on to earn an MBA from Tulane University. DOLLBABY is her first novel. For more information, please visit www.lauralanemcneal.com or follow Laura @llmcneal.

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