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American Pie

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Overview

The lives of the three McBroom sisters of Tallulah, Tennessee, were tangled before the eldest, Eleanor, discovered their mother hanging from the Venetian blinds&#8212and the years have done little to comb out the knots. Now a drunken encounter with the midnight train has left brash, much-married Jo-Nell near death, compelling agoraphobic Eleanor to summon marine biologist Freddie home from California&#8212where she fled after being expelled from med school following a daring gall bladder heist. At last ...

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Overview

The lives of the three McBroom sisters of Tallulah, Tennessee, were tangled before the eldest, Eleanor, discovered their mother hanging from the Venetian blinds&#8212and the years have done little to comb out the knots. Now a drunken encounter with the midnight train has left brash, much-married Jo-Nell near death, compelling agoraphobic Eleanor to summon marine biologist Freddie home from California&#8212where she fled after being expelled from med school following a daring gall bladder heist. At last the McBroom sisters are together again, to face old fears and new catastrophes as they cheerfully deflect every flaming arrow that outrageous fortune fires their way.

With wit and loving compassion, Michael Lee West introduces us to an indomitable family of eccentric survivors in an unforgettable novel of cruel fate, bad luck, and unassailable resiliency.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Southern gothic and soap-opera hype collide exuberantly in West's vivid if hokey third novel (She Flew the Coop, 1994, etc.): a tale of three sisters and their plucky Grandma fighting to dispel a family curse in a small Tennessee town.

When Jo-Nell, the youngest of the three McBroom sisters, is near death as the result of a train accident, the family thinks it's just another manifestation of the curse that has dogged them for three generations. Originally from Texas, most of the McBrooms now live in Tallulah, Tennessee, where everybody knows everybody else's business. Freddie, the middle sister, left Tallulah and headed for California after being expelled from medical school; now, she interrupts a whale-watching visit to Baja, Mexico, with fellow scientist-husband Sam to fly to Jo-Nell's bedside. Grandma Minerva, meanwhile, fears that the old family curse has been revived. Eleanor, the eldest, is so obsessed with crime that she cannot go out alone, and picks up widows from the Senior Citizen Center before she drives to the store. As the four women alternate recollections of the past with accounts of what happens when they're all together again, the plot moves at a hyperventilating pace. Minerva recalls her Texas childhood, her marriage, the tragic deaths of two of her children, the move to Tallulah, where—such is the power of the curse—husband Amos dies and daughter Ruth marries Freddie McBroom, is widowed, marries again only to be abandoned, then commits suicide. Jo-Nell, regarded locally as a slut, has also been unlucky in love; and Freddie finds herself still attracted to her own first love, Jackson, a pediatrician with a similarly checkered family history. When Minerva dies, the sisters, having finally faced the past, are ready to move on.

Colorful, larger-than-life characters strut and stew with zest across an equally colorful terrain—in a tale that grips in spite of itself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060984335
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: 1 HARPER
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Lee West is the author of Mad Girls in Love, Crazy Ladies, American Pie, She Flew the Coop, and Consuming Passions. She lives with her husband on a rural farm in Tennessee with three bratty Yorkshire terriers, a Chinese Crested, assorted donkeys, chickens, sheep, and African Pygmy goats. Her faithful dog Zap (above) was the inspiration for a character in the novel.

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Customer Reviews

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