The Ballad of the Sad Cafe Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Cousin Lymon Willis, a hunchback dwarf, has come to town to visit Miss Amelia. He
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holds up a blurry photograph that is proof positive Fanny and Martha Jesup are
half sisters; therefore, Miss Amelia and Lymon are cousins. Miss Amelia, a rich
store owner, keeps to herself after a disastrous 10 day marriage. But she is
somehow infatuated with the hunchback dwarf who can turn on the tears anytime
he wants to. Cousin Lymon is invited to live with her.
The night the dwarf comes to town, an inspiration to open a cafe in Miss Amelia's
store transpires. Soon all the townspeople have a place to hang, Stumpy MacPhail,
Henry Macy, and others, eat fried chicken and later drink Miss Amelia's fine, smooth
whiskey. Cousin Lymon receives preferential treatment all day, every day - Miss
Amelia just falls to pieces when he wiggles his large and pale ears. Then Marvin
Macy, Miss Amelia's husband for 10 days, returns from the state penitentiary.
Cousin Lymon begins to follow Marvin around.

The review of this Book prepared by Joan Clare

Chapter Analysis of The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Life of a profession:    -   chef or baker Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Coping with loss of loved one(s)    -   Yes Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Brain/Body disability?    -   physical disability Love problems?    -   Obession with uninterested person Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Carson McCullers Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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