Simon & Schuster, May 2003, 23.00, 288 pp.
Junk picker Carrie returns to her hometown, Oysterback, Maryland on the Eastern Shore to attend her mother's funeral. Carrie and her sister Earlene have been at odds for years over lifestyles and even while trying to honor the dead they argue. Both await their brother Delmar to return with the ashes from Florida, but he is being detained by police for an incident at the airport where metal detectors were set off by their mom's urn.
Carrie is shocked to find Professor Jack Shepherd sleeping in her mother's bed. He explains that he normally lives on a boat, but her mother said he could use her house while she was away if he needed to for some reason. Her former boyfriend, the married Hudson Swann, also accosts Carrie. She clearly explains to Hudson that they are the past though she admits to herself that she wouldn't mind a future with Jack.
Though here is a dark comical backdrop, WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE is a deep relationship drama that showcases family rivalries and lingering disagreements and disappointments. The sisters are a delight to observe fuss and fight while their respective descriptions of their brother paint quite a picture of him. Though some tension caused by “outsiders” seems unnecessary, fans will appreciate this no person is an island tale that emphasizes everybody needs somebody sometimes.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner