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Friday, January 26, 2007

The Girl from Charnelle, by K.L.Cook

Now, let me be clear. I really, really enjoyed this book. However, I'm waiting for the consequences. I think my moral compass is spinning, trying desperately to find something to learn from this story line. I mean--nothing happens? We just go on? Daddy still loves you, and he never ever knows what you've done? And excuse me--your older brother and sister know what you're up to, and don't tell your dad? Sure, this stuff happens, it's realistic fiction. But come on.

From the publisher's blurb...

It's 1960 in the Panhandle town of Charnelle, Texas -- a year and a half since sixteen-year-old Laura Tate's mother boarded a bus and mysteriously disappeared. Assuming responsibility for the Tate household, Laura cares for her father and three brothers and outwardly maintains a sense of calm. But her balance is upset and the repercussions of her family's struggles are revealed when a chance encounter with a married man leads Laura into a complicated relationship for which she is unprepared. As Kennedy battles Nixon for the White House, Laura must navigate complex emotional terrain and choose whether she, too, will flee Charnelle. Dramatizing the tension between desire and familial responsibility, The Girl from Charnelle delivers a heartfelt portrait of a young woman's reckoning with the paradoxes of love. Eloquent, tender, and heart-wrenching, K. L. Cook's unforgettable debut novel marks the arrival of a significant new voice in American fiction.

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