A Whole World of Trouble

A Whole World of Trouble

by Helen Chappell
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Overview

A Whole World of Trouble by Helen Chappell

In the tradition of Fannie Flagg, veteran storyteller Helen Chappell, acclaimed author of Giving Up the Ghost, presents a wry, funny, and poignant novel about two sisters, their dead mother, and a Chesapeake Bay town where anything can happen and frequently does.

Sometimes you have to go home again, even if you know the trip is going to be one from hell. When Carrie points her van in the direction of Oysterback, Maryland, her old hometown, she does it only because she has no choice. Her momma, the indomitable Audrey, has done the unthinkable: she's died. And it wasn't a neat little Oysterback death either. No, it happened in Florida and involved an alligator. But, then again, there was nothing conventional about Audrey, even in life. The same could be said for her daughter Carrie -- single, perpetually searching, and professionally adrift, she has become an expert at yard sales, sifting through the detritus of other folks' lives, then reselling it to shops that sell antiques and assorted "collectibles." Her sister, Earlene, considers Carrie a junk collector, but then Earlene has devoted her life to being conventional. Married with two boys, she has remained in Oysterback where she and her husband run the View 'n' Chew, a combination video store-sandwich shop.

Momma had lived by the notion that a woman is incomplete without a man and spent the years following her husband's death trying to be as complete as humanly possible -- in the process working her way through a whole parade of men. As best Carrie can figure, her momma's last two flames were Alonzo Deaver, the town's resident miscreant and a current resident of the state penitentiary, and Jack Shepherd, a college professor on the run from failure and boredom. Both had been granted carte blanche to crash at Momma's house whenever the occasion should arise (be it Alonzo's planned escape from prison or Jack's escape from his ratty little boat).

Once back in Oysterback, Carrie finds herself unwittingly caught up in a family drama of epic proportions -- including Earlene's resentment (which leads to a classic -- and very messy -- confrontation), a now-married ex-boyfriend's attempt to rekindle an old flame, her own attraction to Professor Jack, and a roiling stew of anger and grief over Momma's poorly timed passing. For while Carrie never expected to go home again, she naively believed it always would be there.

A Whole World of Trouble is a delightfully authentic comedy of Southern manners and an antic, frequently hilarious, pointed, and moving novel by a writer who knows the people and the world she writes about.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416578437
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 09/25/2007
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Helen Chappell is the author of more than thirty books of mystery, historical romance, and nonfiction, including most recently, the novels Giving Up the Ghost, Ghost of a Chance, and Slow Dance with the Angel of Death. She lives in Royal Oak, Maryland.

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Whole World of Trouble 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fans of Helen Chappell, rejoice! Oysterback, the delightful town on Maryland's Eastern Shore that was the setting for two earlier collections, has returned, as deliciously quirky as ever. For protagonist Carrie Hudson, Oysterback is less than delightful -- it's her hometown and she left it behind her a long time ago. Now her mother's death has brought her home, home to deal with everything she thought she'd left behind her a long time ago. By turns humorous and touching, A WHOLE WORLD OF TROUBLE is Chappell at her best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a delightfully funny book that left me howling with laughter. Chappell is unique among Southern writers. I'm really looking forward to her next novel!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Junk picker Carrie returns to her hometown, Oysterback, Maryland on the Eastern Shore to attend her mother¿s funeral. Carrie and her sister Earlene have been at odds for years over lifestyles and even while trying to honor the dead they argue. Both await their brother Delmar to return with the ashes from Florida, but he is being detained by police for an incident at the airport where metal detectors were set off by their mom¿s urn............. Carrie is shocked to find Professor Jack Shepherd sleeping in her mother¿s bed. He explains that he normally lives on a boat, but her mother said he could use her house while she was away if he needed to for some reason. Her former boyfriend, the married Hudson Swann, also accosts Carrie. She clearly explains to Hudson that they are the past though she admits to herself that she wouldn¿t mind a future with Jack.................. Though here is a dark comical backdrop, WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE is a deep relationship drama that showcases family rivalries and lingering disagreements and disappointments. The sisters are a delight to observe fuss and fight while their respective descriptions of their brother paint quite a picture of him. Though some tension caused by ¿outsiders¿ seems unnecessary, fans will appreciate this no person is an island tale that emphasizes everybody needs somebody sometimes................. Harriet Klausner