Berkley, Jul 2003, 22.95, 410 pp.
Sit back with a mint julep and follow the thoughts of divorced single mom Anna Lutz Abbot. As a hairdresser, she knows everyone's skeletons as she hears more confessions than the College of Cardinals would hear in their combined lifetimes. Now Anna has scandals in her own life. As a high school senior, her grandma who raised her and the local minister arranged a date between their two charges. His son raped her. When Anna learned she was pregnant her grandmother reacted with apoplexy that soon led to a death stroke.
Her college daughter is coming home at the same time the creep that sexually molested her will also return to town. Emily is unaware that the guy she thinks is her biological father is gay and never had relations with any woman while her real sire is a rapist. Then there is that gorgeous Connecticut Yankee to obsess.
This novel is reminiscent of the Mossy Creek tales. This excellent work of fiction is fun to read for those who want to read something escapist but interesting. The support characters are an eccentric delightful ensemble especially the lead protagonist's daughter and the two geriatric neighbors who seem less golden and more leaden in attitudes (an ultra conservative Maude in her geezer stage). This is a fine beach bingo book and fans will appreciate the insights into small town southern life that allows interruptions because the novel never requires as much power as the dryers used by Anna.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner