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Posted July 18, 2004
At Home in Jamesland
Michelle Huneven, relying on an exquisite use of language and a sharp sense of humor, has created a wonderfully bizarre love story that blooms from the City of Angels. Dysfunctional much of the time, but secure in their desire to improve themselves and find love in the right places (even if they hang around the wrong places a bit too long), Pete and Alice have every reason to disturb and rankle the other. But within the healing orbits of an unusually honest minister (Helen) and Alice's eccentric aunt, Kate, we can rejoice in their respective baby steps toward something resembling a 'normal' life. Thrown into the mix is--almost literally--the ghost of William James and an assortment of Los Angeles inhabitants such as a jive-talking, white cross-dresser and a beautiful, aging movie star. Huneven, who simply is a brilliant writer, begins this novel with a haunting image that carries through until the final pages. This is a spectacularly successful work of fiction that deserves to be read.
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