That sums up Jill Fountaine's feelings about some of the questionable people living in her hometown. Even though she's suffered through a dysfunctional childhood with alcoholic parents at the root of her gnarly family tree, she's willing to put the past behind her. Jill's heading home to Dimlit, or Dimwit as she calls it, to stop them from making a terrible decision.
Pushed by money-hungry adult children and their spouses, greedy business owners, shady governmental officials and a devilish preacher who prefers skimming dollars off the collection plate rather than saving souls, her parents are considering a change that could wreck a way of life that Jill thought she'd never revisit. She calls upon her spinster aunt, a former high school infatuation and one of her three ex-husbands for help. Each step of her backwoods investigation uncovers a growing number of people in cahoots, exposing another layer of odd-ball treachery. But she never gives up getting to the bottom of things even as really stupid people pull out all the stops to prevent Jill from saving the day. Follow her hilarious encounters with her down-to-earth family as she reconnects with them after a long absence and the unsavory villains that attempt to foil her at every step.
This is the second in the Jill Fountaine series, beginning with Working with Really Stupid People: The Neighbors.
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.32(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The road paved with good intentions leads to... Dimlit, Missouri. This cozy mystery is the fourth installment of Cindy McDermott's amusing Working with Really Stupid People series. Jill Fontaine, the protagonist and first person narratrix, is a natural born loser who deserves better than life has condescended to bestow upon her. Her roots and her family are in Dimlit, a town of paradox where the idiotic and the corrupt are awarded power, prestige, property, opportunity, legitimacy, and control over others. Even the Church, which has spread the gospel to every corner of the earth, has only barely reached Dimlit, where the New Testament is merely a token metanarrative. The heroes of The Congregants are a very, very fresh pastor who doesn't really know what he himself is up to, and Jill's family members, who are defective in all but heart. The villains are evil locals who have agreed to swindle the utterly helpless and gullible population of Dimlit out of all their money. Against all odds and in spite of herself, Jill Fontaine does her best to get tangled up in the mess, the only way that she knows how to resolve anything. The author, Cindy McDermott, paints excellent portraits of homespun folks cast in situations that they are really not up to handling. She is an expert at crafting a narrative that is at once shocking and heartwarming.
Jill Fountaine is a woman after my own heart. She’s determined, family oriented, career focused and creative. She says what she thinks, and doesn’t hesitate to take action and get involved when she believes she can help. In Cindy McDermott’s second novel, “Working with Really Stupid People: The Relatives,” that’s the reason for her return to Dimwit (actually, it’s Dimlit), Missouri, the town she escaped, along with her alcoholic parents, dysfunctional family and its host of other stupid people, many years before. She’s triumphed over adversity; she raised her kids, got a good education, a good job and launched a writing career based on her work experiences Now she hears rumblings from her Aunt Olida Wilhelmina, the woman who always provided mothering and good advice, of shady goings-on in Dimlit, from land grabs and lies to a preacher who’s more interested in lining his own pockets than saving his congregation. As Jill uncovers more information and is determined to protect her parents, her character evolves and her point of view mellows and changes. Already a survivor, as McDermott has detailed in the first novel in the series, Jill puts her instincts, honed by experience with odd (and stupid) people, into learning the truth. She relies on help from the good people she left behind when she escaped Dimlit as a young woman, and as the story unfolds, the reader has hope that she will even rekindle an old romance. McDermott’s descriptions of rural decay are hilarious and dead on, particularly as she emphasizes her family’s centuries-old connection to the land and their aversion to leaving it. Or leaving it well kept. Depictions of her childhood and parents are poignant, especially as Jill sees them in her rear-view mirror. And the other characters will leave you shaking your head, quite possibly recognizing folks you may actually know, with their greed, self-absorption and snarkiness. Go back and pick up “Working with Really Stupid People: The Neighbors,” after you finish “The Relatives.” The characters and situations are equally hilarious and perfect for your summer reading list!
I read the first in the series as well. If you are looking for a little sass and backwoods in your summer reading, then this is a great start. With sparkling and witty comments, McDermott reminds us that we just can't choose our family. Started the book on a lazy weekend and finished it up by Monday.
So funny. Lots of silly twists and turns. Dialogue is great; characters are over the top. But for all of the laughs, The Relatives has a solid message of doing the best you can given the circumstances you’re in. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.