HAPPY DAYS by Margaret Moose

HAPPY DAYS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten-year-old Lee-Ann's father, J. C. Johnson, owns a huge junkyard in a small southern town. J. C. calls it a wrecking yard, a place to buy used automobile parts, and quivers at the word junk. He's rich, handsome, randy, oil- and whiskey-soaked and his wife Myrtle loves/hates him with a power that brings spasms to her breasts. When Myrtle has the church ladies society over for tea, J. C. gets drunk and gasses the bats sleeping in the attic, so that dead or drugged bats fall everywhere during the meeting. After Pearl Harbor, F.D.R. starts a scrap drive -- but J. C. won't sell his junk at government prices -- the debris is more valuable as used parts. And the law comes down on him. The climax, as is much of the novel's humor, is fiery, powerful, and really quirky, like Lee-Ann and J. C. themselves. The kingdom of scrap is filled with buttercups, heaven and hell in the same place (J. C. is called Lucifer at one point), but it's also a strongly sensual set for Lee-Ann's awakening to sex and death. An auspicious first novel.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1974
Publisher: Simon & Schuster