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The Last Suppers Hardcover – December 26, 2017
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
"A serious book, beautifully written, that explores the effect of ruinous family secrets. It's about race, death and the lives we lead, sometimes against our better judgment... The novel itself is a stew filled with touchstones of our past--like the Ku Klux Klan--that some would rather ignore. The Last Suppers is compelling and very very real."
"Raw and heartbreaking, through The Last Suppers we see the personal sacrifice and love of a woman whose life is fraught with pain on her journey to discover the truth of her father's life and death. Unrestrained in its honesty, this is one novel that will keep you thinking long after the last page is read."
"In this novel of compassion, readers will find a humanizing light in a normally dark place."
"The Last Suppers held me riveted from the first page to the last, a gorgeous novel that finds beauty in the most unlikely of places. This story has the social conscience of The Help, the unflinching honesty of The Shawshank Redemption, and a wholly original heroine whose humanity will touch your heart as she cooks her way to redemption."
About the Author
Mandy Mikulencak has been a writer her entire working life. First, as a journalist then as an editor and PR specialist for two national nonprofits and a United Nations agency. Today she lives in the mountains of Southwest Colorado with her husband, Andy. She writes YA and adult fiction. Her first book, Burn Girl, has been honored with a 2016 Westchester Fiction Award. Readers can visit her website at www.mandymikulencak.com
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Ginny Polk works in the kitchen of the same prison her murdered father once worked as a guard. She is also romantically involved with her father’s best friend, Roscoe Simmons, who is now the prison warden. Very much ahead of her time, Ginny is uninterested in marrying her much older lover since it would mean giving up her job in the prison kitchen. In another divergence from a typical white woman in the deep South, she considers her much older African American co-worker, Dot, to be her best friend and surrogate mother. While Ginny loves her job, her vocation lies in the meals she prepares for prisoners who are about to be put to death for their crimes. Although she never loses sight the horrific crimes these men have been convicted of committing, Ginny also feels they deserve one last act of compassion before they go to the electric chair.
Ginny is quite contemplative as she tries to understand what motivates her to take such care with the death row inmates’ last meal. She is well aware that her traumatic childhood experiences are a factor in her devotion to ensuring their prisoners last supper has meaning. This curiosity is the catalyst that begins her quest to find answers to questions that have long troubled her, but it is a shocking discovery about her beloved father that jeopardizes everything she holds dear.
As she reminisces about her larger than life, garrulous father, Ginny slowly starts to understand that he had also had a dark side. Roscoe has tried to protect her from the truth about the man she idolizes but she has no choice but face the fact that her father also had a cruel streak. After she stumbles onto proof that shatters her illusions about him, Ginny sets out to right a horrific wrong, but she inadvertently uncovers the stunning truth about what happened the night of her father’s murder.
The Last Suppers is starkly compelling novel that accurately depicts many of the issues of the time period including race relations and the deplorable conditions at the prison. Ginny is an empathetic young woman who is sometimes a little naive and impulsive, but her heart is always in the right place. With a multi-layered, richly developed and meticulously researched storyline, Mandy Mikulencak’s debut is poignant, through-provoking and ultimately, redemptive.
I received a complimentary copy for review.