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Witches on the road tonight
Sheri Holman
Adult Fiction HOLMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Holman (The Dress Lodger) investigates a dynasty of fear, mysticism, guilt, and love, beginning in Depression-era Appalachia through to contemporary Manhattan, in her uneven but heartbreaking latest. In 1940, Eddie Alley is a shy boy living in rural Virginia with his mother, Cora, who is dogged by rumors of witchcraft. A visit from a writer and photographer from the WPA opens Eddie's eyes to the possibilities outside his tiny town, starting him on the path to becoming Captain Casket, a cartoonish TV horror movie presenter. But beneath Captain Casket's makeup and kitsch lurk secrets and tortures waiting to burst out. Holman dodges back and forth over a 70-year period, checking in on Eddie, Cora, Eddie's daughter Wallis, and homeless teenager Jasper, whom Eddie takes in and acts as a reluctant lynchpin for a tortuous familial would-be love triangle. Though the story flags in the middle section, it does recover in time to map out the devastating consequences of sin and circumstance that were forged in the hills of Appalachia and tumbled down through the generations. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

This new novel by Holman (Mammoth Cheese) centers on Eddie Alley, raised by his mother in the mountains of rural Virginia during the Depression while his father works away from home. Cora isn't like other mothers-there are rumors that she's a witch. Their isolated life is disrupted when a writer and a photographer working for the WPA arrive in town. They open Eddie's eyes to the wider world, and eventually he leaves Virginia for New York and begins a career in television. Becoming Captain Casket, horror-movie host, he marries and has a daughter, Wallis. When Wallis is 12, the family takes in a troubled teenage boy who unsettles the normalcy of the Alleys and deeply affects Eddie and Wallis. Wallis becomes curious about her mysterious grandmother, and she and Eddie must step back into his strange childhood before they cope with their present. VERDICT Fans of Appalachian fiction and/or novels with supernatural themes should enjoy this eerie, often tense read. [See Prepub Exploded, BookSmack! 9/16/10.]-Shaunna Hunter, -Hampden-Sydney Coll., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Eddie Alley
Grew up in rural Virginia with his mother who was haunted by rumors of witchcraft; visited by a writer and photographer who inspired him to pursue a life outside his small town; became Captain Casket, a TV horror movie presenter; takes in a homeless teenager.
Television host

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