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Perhaps the term family is a misnomer for the Sheehands, a bunch of misfits drawn together by impulse and wrenched apart by hope, desire, and murder. Fairy, the philandering father camped out in an old school bus, can't extricate himself from the burden of "women and their sticky flaws." His wife, Susan-Blair, is slowly burying herself beneath other people's possessions in her makeshift consignment store, even as she neglects her children and chats it up with the ever-present Christ of her Pentecostal upbringing. No wonder 16-year-old Hezekiah sets off down the road to Chalktown in the opening pages of the novel, carrying his disabled brother in a backpack. His encounters along the way make for a Robert Altman-like series of takes on the bizarre nature of reality in George County.
The literary landscape of the Deep South is, of course, teeming with eccentric characters. Yet Haynes's are so fleshed-out that the reader is left feeling almost crowded, like (to quote Susan-Blair) a "durn closet full a somebody else's coats. Coats put there by people who went on to someplace else, some other thing." The author is no less gifted at conveying a sense of place. She uses the colorful brushstrokes of a painter--which she also happens to be--to imbue this story with a dark, sultry, and unmistakably Southern feel. The result is a captivating, consuming read. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The characters are well drawn with all main characters having vivid personalities, quirks or charms.
Melinda Haynes did a fine job of weaving together surprising elements and well-drawn characters into a tale that was as bewildering as it was thought-provoking.
She developes her charactors and story lines very well and I'm always anxious to pick the book up and see what's happening.
This is the kind of book that makes me want to stand up and cheer. It was brilliant...the characters fascinating and deep, the prose artwork on the page, and the story itself... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Virginia Reader
If you like books that are based in the south during the times of racial problems you will like this one. I really liked it and the two main characters were so believable.Published 1 month ago by Linda McClellan
This is a stunningly good novel about the deep Deep South and its vast and remarkable
Characters. Read more
I don't know how an author can think up such interesting characters. The story was very compelling and full of twists and turns.Published 9 months ago by Cindy
On a hot summer morning in the Mississippi backwoods, sixteen-year-old Hezekiah straps his mentally retarded younger brother Yellababy to his back and heads out to Chalktown, even... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Laurel Whitehead
This was a nice story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The author is currently one of my favorites. Read morePublished on May 12, 2011 by Judith M. Zullo
For fans of Flannery O'Connor, McCuller's Dinner at the Homesick Cafe, or Schulz' This Side of Jordan, this is a perfect book. Read morePublished on August 24, 2010 by Pasiphae
I just finished this book and as dark as it was, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The pace of this story is as slow and easy as the Mississippi River on a hot summers day, and it meanders... Read morePublished on November 6, 2009 by Book A Week