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Moon women
Pamela Duncan
Adult Fiction DUNCAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the tradition of Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells comes a Southern-fried debut from novelist Duncan. Taking place in rural North Carolina (the author's home ground) in the early 1990s, the story spans nine months just long enough for unwed Ashley to carry and deliver her "young'un." After a stint in rehab, the troubled 19-year-old goes home to her mother, 51-year-old Ruth Ann, whose carefully organized life is about to be turned upside down. Between her ne'er-do-well, philandering ex-husband, A.J., who still comes around, her octogenarian mother, Marvelle, for whom she must care, and Ashley's tense return, Ruth Ann has much to worry about. She wants her family to be happy, but at the same time wishes they would give her some space ("Pure and simple, every damn body got on her damn nerves"). This novel is chock-full of stereotypical Southern speech, which some may find quaint or humorous (brung instead of brought, taters instead of potatoes, foller instead of follow), but more refined grammarians may simply be annoyed or even cringe at nondialogue colloquialisms ("It amazed Ashley that him and Ruth Ann got along as well as they did"). Duncan succeeds in defining her characters' differences, but in her effort to make them all "strong," they sometimes just come across as grumpy complainers. The most sympathetic and well-rounded character is Cassandra, Ruth Ann's obese young sister, who dreams of escaping her family, her body and her life as it is. The plot becomes a bit unfocused at times, but Duncan shows promise as a from-the-heart quirky storyteller. (Aug. 7) Forecast: A major advertising campaign and author publicity will help give this first novel a foothold, as will an appealing jacket. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Add newcomer Duncan to your reading list of Southern women writers. Set in western North Carolina, this first novel follows three generations of Moon women during the months of granddaughter Ashley's unplanned pregnancy. While both male and female characters resonate, this novel is definitely about the women as they struggle with relationships, roles, and their place in the world. Dialog is true to the region, and intertwined throughout are 80-year-old matriarch Marvelle's memories of her family and its secrets. Duncan expertly demonstrates that ordinary lives are worth illuminating. Her novel should make her mentor, author Lee Smith, proud and provide strong competition to another new regional novelist, Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler). Strongly recommended for all fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/01.] Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Marvelle Moon
Female
Age: 82
Grandmother

Ruth Ann
Female
Divorced
Marvelle's daughter.

Ashley
Female
Age: Teenager
Pregnant
Ruth Ann's daughter.

Cassandra
Female
Single
Marvelle's daughter.



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