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Glorious faith and uncertainty—the spice of life—are on the agenda in Shaffner's (One Part Angel) latest high-spirited, if unsettling, morality tale. The citizens of Ebb, Neb., are all aflutter about the reappearance of Vernon L. Moore, a mysterious traveling salesman reportedly imbued with mystical powers. The town has been struck by a major drought and the quirky cast of local characters hopes that Vernon will break it. Wilma L. Porter, of the Come Again Bed & Breakfast also wants him to heal Clement Tucker, her cancer-stricken "Fiancé in Perpetuity" and "the richest man between Omaha and Oklahoma," but Vernon says he can't pray for both Clem's life and rain. As Clem and Vernon engage in protracted negotiations, Clem's three friends, the Widows of Eden, arrive at the B & B to help out. They call themselves Lohengrin's Children (after a mythical Wagnerian knight) and have two goals: "to see the world and to help those in need." The book's bittersweet resolution raises more questions than it answers, and Shaffner keeps the definition of who (or what) Vernon and the Widows are purposefully vague, which some readers may find enticing and others merely frustrating. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Posted March 6, 2008
In the third book in his series featuring Vernon Moore, George Shaffner returns to Ebb, Nebraska. Ebb is in the midst of a drought, one hundred days with no rain to be specific. The enigmatic 'travelling salesman' is back to visit and everyone's hopes are pinned on his arrival. You see, Vernon Moore has performed feats in Ebb on two previous occasions that more than a few say are miraculous and most of Ebb is hoping he can do it yet again in the form of rain. On the other hand, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Ebb is dying of cancer and he has a whole different plan in mind for Vernon's latest visit. Oh, and Vernon has help this time -- three widows who belong to a traveler's club named 'Lohengrins Children.' Ebb is in for an interesting week! In preparation for reading The Widows of Eden, I checked out the first book in the series, In the Land of Second Chances. 'Alas, my local library does not have a copy of the second installment, One Part Angel' I found them both to be pretty quick, pleasant reads. Vernon is 'selling' something in each book, but nothing that a normal travelling salesman would carry in his sample case. In the first book, he is selling hope to a town that is sorely lacking in that department. In The Widows of Eden, an order of faith is on tap for a cantankerous businessman. The books are fairly light and humorous but not always predictable. Sales calls take on the feel of a logic class as arguments are put forth to show the presence of a benevolent God, to explain why he cannot intervene in Earthly situations, etc. Also, the town of Ebb is very woman-centered, starting with the omnipresent Quilting Circle. I enjoyed reading both books but I am not sure that I would have picked them up at the book store. I guess this just shows that you can't always tell what you are going to end up enjoying!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.