Why is the novel titled "Cold Sassy Tree"?I know Cold Sassy is the city, but where does the tree come from?
That is a very good question. I have not been able to find an interview or article in which the author declares why she added the word "Tree" to the town's name. However, we might do some speculating. Olive Ann Burns, the author, indicated that she based the town and its people on her hometown of Commerce, Georgia. That is not the original name of the town, though. When Burns was growing up, the town was called Harmony Grove. By naming her fictional town Cold Sassy Tree, Burns may be using a play on words: A grove is a cluster of trees. Instead of maintaining harmony, when Rucker Blakeslee announces that he's going to marry the young Yankee woman, he certainly causes "cold" shoulders and "sassy" behavior from his kin and neighbors. So "Harmony Grove" has become a "Cold Sassy Tree."
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