Fed up with housecleaning and her employers' genteel condescension in Boston (Blanche Cleans Up
, 1998, etc.), Blanche White takes her attitude and hard-won independence back home to Farleigh, North Carolina, where she joins her best buddy Ardell in her catering business, tentatively enters a relationship with Thelvin, a widowed train conductor, and tries to come to terms with David Palmer, the man who raped her years ago, though she had been too terrified to report it. She's barely unpacked this excess baggage when an abused woman dies, perhaps at Palmer's hands, and his racist, money-grubbing sister gets engaged to the rich but mentally retarded Mumsfield, whose kin want Blanche to dig up dirt that will unring the threatened wedding bells. Praying to her ancestors that the Palmers are guilty of every misdeed committed in Farleigh, Blanche is so avid for success that she misinterprets clues, leading to more deaths, including Palmer's on a sharply curved road. Even after his gratifying departure, ingrained southern racism, persistent sexism, and a long-overdue mother-daughter confrontation almost get the better of her before this sad tale of female suffering comes to an end.
Read full book review >