Humor-columnist Stacy's debut won the Carolina Novel Award, then was published in 1999 as a trade paperback (under the title Styles by Maggie Sweet
) by Banks Channel Books. It's a sweet, charming story about a southern housewife who decides to follow her bliss, come hell or high water. Maggie Sweet Presson is piqued when her teacher husband, Steve, spends their vacation money on a cemetery plot for two. She's only 38, after all, and not even thinking about dying. Not that her life is particularly interesting. She takes care of her twin teenaged daughters: Amy, a straight-A
student who dreams of escaping the small town of Poplar Grove, North Carolina, and Jill, a budding artist who creates chainsaw sculptures. Aside from that, Maggie cooks, cleans, and endures routine Saturday-night wrestling matches on the sofa with Steve—humdrum stuff for the daughter of Smilin' Jack Sweet, her ne'er-do-well, hard-drinking daddy who knew all about having a good time. Then—presto!—a former flame reappears: Jerry Roberts. He's tall, handsome, and kind. He supports her ambition to become a hairdresser at the Curl & Swirl. He listens to her. He takes her in his arms and rocks her world. Should she divorce dull-as-dishwater Steve and run off with Jerry? Maggie will at last make up her mind—and accept the happy consequences.
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