HANK & CHLOE by Jo-Ann Mapson


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 A warmly human first novel that lingers in the mind long after its heroes have seen the sunset--from poet and storywriter Mapson (Fault Line, 1989--not reviewed). Hank, middle-aged, middle-class, and still single, teaches folklore and mythology at the junior college in his southern California hometown. Chloe, 33 and struggling to make it through each day, waits tables at a local diner, gives equitation lessons to rich kids, and has recently moved from her pickup truck to a one-room, cold-water shack in the canyons. The two meet when Chloe, once a prize-winning rider whose life collapsed after her cowboy lover drank himself to death, helps a professor at the college birth a new colt. Hank, transfixed by Chloe's beauty as she sheds her bloodstained sweatshirt, offers her his prized Irish cotton shirt to wear instead. Hank trails Chloe to the diner and soon, despite their obvious differences, the two become an oft-remarked- upon item around town. Then Chloe's shack is invaded by police who tear up her house, break her ankle, and arrest her for assault, apparently at the behest of developers who are after the land. Hank grabs the chance to rescue his lover from jail and shepherd her through the legal process until justice is done. But to Hank's dismay Chloe refuses to play damsel in distress, preferring to break up with him instead and sink back comfortably into fatalism and despair. Friends and family shake their heads in mourning, but folklorist Hank knows another quest is in order: This time he leaves his job and begins a journey of the soul, patiently rebuilding a shack in the Arizona desert--until Chloe comes riding up in her truck to make his day. Gentle, earthy, down-home fiction from the New West. (First serial to Cosmopolitan)

Pub Date: March 31st, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-016943-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993


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