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SMALL TOWN GIRL by LaVyrle Spencer


by LaVyrle Spencer

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-14249-5
Publisher: Putnam

 The heroine in Spencer's (That Camden Summer, 1995, etc.) newest surefire bestseller discovers that true love and a career do mix. Country-western superstar Tess McPhail travels back to her roots in Wintergreen, Missouri, the town where she was born. She hasn't visited it in 18 years, since she graduated from high school and set out to conquer Nashville's Music Row. Mac, as she is known to her zillions of fans, has come back home to shepherd her mother through a hip-replacement operation. But just how she is going to endure a month in this backwater is more than the elegant (but lonely) Mac can imagine. She loves her mother, but they don't get along; Momma doesn't think a girl has really succeeded in life unless she's married. And then there's the question of how she will endure that seemingly insufferable Kenny Kronek, an accountant no less, who lives across the alley and who had a big crush on her when she was a cute teenager and he was an acne-faced nerd. Little by little, of course, Tess starts to like the quiet life. She befriends Kenny's talented daughter Casey, and she falls in love with ``St. Kenny,'' who is, it turns out, handsome, kind, responsible, and a loving help to her momma. In the end, Tess will get the best of both worlds--life as Mrs. Kronek plus a million-dollar house in Nashville, complete with maid, limos, pool, private planes, a marble bathtub, an unlimited supply of chic low-fat dinners, and a charge account at Tiffany's. This time out, Spencer adopts the heartfelt language of country-western lyrics (``He held her hand over his hurting heart as they drank each other in''), constructing a happy land where everything is as warm and folksy and loving as a group hug. (Literary Guild main selection)