Study Guide

Miss Lana in Three Times Lucky

By Sheila Turnage

Miss Lana

Full of Flair

Miss Lana definitely adds some exotic flavor to the residents of Tupelo Landing. They all adore her (none more than Mo) because she runs the café with such flair, constantly switching the theme so that everyone can feel like they're someplace exciting like Paris instead of a small rural town:

The Colonel keeps the café military crisp; Miss Lana prefers a theme. Glancing around, I pegged today's theme as 1930's Paris—her favorite. A miniature Eiffel Tower graced the counter, and scratchy accordion music crackled from the ancient Victrola she'd placed near the jukebox. The red Formica tables sported white lace cloths, which she'd turned catty-corner, lending the café a bohemian flair. The blackboard behind the counter read Le Menu. (12.32)

By having fun (and wearing a rotating cast of different wigs and outfits), Miss Lana is living life fully and being who she wants to be… whoever that happens to be on a particular day. Her vivacious, passionate nature is something that Mo definitely admires.

Maternal Instincts

Mo also has an enormous amount of love and loyalty toward Miss Lana because she's functionally her mother. Maybe she's not her biological mother, but Miss Lana does all of the things that a mother is supposed to do—she loves Mo unconditionally, cares for her, and vows to protect her no matter what:

I hugged her, my head fitting neatly just beneath her chin. Her heart beat strong and sure, steadying my own. "Thank you for coming home so quick," I said.

"I'll always come home to you, Mo," she said. "You know that." (8.54-55)

Miss Lana may not have intended to become a mother or to live this life in Tupelo Landing (after all, before the Colonel lost his memory they were going to elope in Paris), but she doesn't let regret hold her back or make her unhappy. Instead she embraces everything in her life—including Mo—wholeheartedly. And that's what makes her the best mother that Mo could ever hope for, and all the mother Mo needs.