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GEORGIA BOTTOMS by Mark Childress Kirkus Star


by Mark Childress

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-03304-6
Publisher: Little, Brown

The title of this novel from Childress (One Mississippi, 2006, etc.) refers to a person rather than to a place—and what a memorable character she turns out to be.

Georgia is a good ol’ Alabama girl, actually a woman in her mid-30s when the novel opens. She lives with her mother, Little Mama, who’s showing increasing signs of dementia, and with her wastrel brother (called Brother), who hits a tavern after every AA meeting. Life is pretty good for Georgia, however, because she freely gives her generous sexual favors to a number of prominent citizens in Six Points, Ala., including the judge, the Baptist preacher, the sheriff, the doctor, the bank president and the editor of the local newspaper. (She takes Mondays off.) Of course, each of these upstanding citizens thinks he’s the only one being “serviced” by Georgia, and she takes great pains to keep them from knowing about each other. The affairs start to unravel a bit when Brenda Hendrix, the wife of the preacher, gets wind of her husband’s unfaithfulness. Georgia quickly gets the upper hand, however, when she pulls some strings to get the preacher transferred to another backwater town. Georgia also presides over the biggest ladies’ social event in Six Points, a genteel luncheon put on every September, but in 2001 this gustatory occasion is ruined by 9/11. Georgia can’t believe that such a terrorist act could ruin her luncheon because “it doesn’t have anything to do with us!” Other surprises are in store as well, for her 20-year-old son Nathan, whose father is black and one of Georgia’s first flings, literally shows up at her doorstep, and a new Baptist preacher moves to town, movie-star handsome and quite interested in Georgia, whose reputation has preceded her. But this preacher is not exactly who he appears to be.

Light, amusing fiction.