Snake Woman of Little Egypt

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Kirkus Top 25 Book
Booklist Editors' Choice

A winning new novel from the bestselling author of The Sixteen Pleasures---whose engaging, emotionally true characters could be right at home in the stories of Alice Munro or Bobbie Ann Mason.

Narrator Coleen Marlo has ample opportunities to shine with an unlikely combination of characters: recent parolee Snakewoman (aka Sunny); her snake-handling preacher husband, Earl; anthropologist Jackson; and a professor, Claire, who can’t stick to her marriage vows. Although the narration opens in a straightforward fashion, Sunny’s Kentucky roots begin to come through as she describes shooting Earl and serving time. Marlo also nails Claire’s upper-class origins and cavalier attitude. Although descriptions of Jackson’s African fieldwork are intriguing, his explorations amid a religious cult make for better audio storytelling. While the author seems to have hammered too heavily on parts of the tale and too lightly on others, Marlo’s reading is engaging, lively, and true to character. J.J.B. © AudioFile 2010