A .38 Special and a Broken Heartby Jonis Agee
Finalist, 1995 Minnesota Book Award for Short Stories.¶Critically acclaimed novelist Jonis Agee continues the popular Coffee-To-Go Series with stories grappling with heartbreak, anger, betrayal, and survival."Deft characterization and sharp, visceral imagery."Publishers Weekly See more details below
Finalist, 1995 Minnesota Book Award for Short Stories.¶Critically acclaimed novelist Jonis Agee continues the popular Coffee-To-Go Series with stories grappling with heartbreak, anger, betrayal, and survival."Deft characterization and sharp, visceral imagery."Publishers Weekly
Agee (Strange Angels, 1993, etc.) has always demonstrated a distinctive skill for creating complex, tough-minded, open-hearted women. In the past, though, her novelswhile zestyhave sometimes felt loose, too filled with rich talk at the expense of incident. Here, the talk (wonderfully salty and vigorous without seeming archaic or forced) is in the service of a lively and convincing plot. Middle-aged Moline Bedwell, having survived a disastrous marriage and the death of several loved ones, returns home to Resurrection, Missouri, in the Ozarks, in search of sanctuary. But solace is in short supply: The wonderfully named Heart Hog corporation wants to buy up much of the land around Resurrection for development, effectively splitting the townsfolk into two warring campsthose hungry for the freedom they believe money and change will bring, and those convinced that what's best about Resurrection is its isolation. Moline also encounters Dayrell Bell, the still handsome love of her youth. She'd left Resurrection in the aftermath of an accident that left Dayrell badly injured, and a young girl dead. Dayrell, it turns out, is as charming, and seemingly as wayward, as ever. He also still seems to labor under the influence of his violent, self-destructive brother McCall, who's been recruited by Heart Hog to apply pressure to those unwilling to give up their land. Moline finds herself reluctantly drawn into the battle on the side of the preservationists, and back into Dayrell's orbit. Meanwhile, Agee gently peels away the many layers of history that accumulate when a family has lived in one place for a very long time. There's a pleasing and believable succession of secrets revealed. And Moline and Dayrell's wary courtship is among the most brambly, and original, in recent fiction.
One of the best novels by anyone writing today about the old, long-settled corner of the South.
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Meet the Author
onis Agee is the author of four novels, Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, South of Resurrection, and The Weight of Dreams, four collections of short fiction, Pretend We've Never Met, Bend This Heart, A .38 SPECIAL AND A BROKEN HEART, and TAKING THE WALL, and a book of poetry, Houses. Three of her booksStrange Angels, Bend This Heart, and Sweet Eyeswere named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. TAKING THE WALL won the Foreword Magazine Editor's Choice Award and The Weight of Dreams won the Nebraska Book Award. Jonis Agee is a Nebraska native who has lived and taught throughout the Midwest. She is now Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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