Southern California native Drinkard (Green Bananas, 1989) draws again on familiarity with his region's terrain and quirky lifestyles--in a brutally comic second novel chronicling the bizarre behavior of a dysfunctional family over five generations. After Eliza and Luther Tibbets had tried in vain for years to have a child, employing every procreative aid and fertility booster Harvard specialists could offer, Eliza turned her mind to oranges. Planting southern California's first navel orange trees in 1885, she nursed a sole survivor through a subsequent drought with the lifeblood of Luther's dog, and convinced her husband that the trees were a mother lode waiting to be mined. A hundred years later--the family line continued by a quick coupling between Eliza and President McKinley, and by Luther's marrying the child when she comes of age--the last of the Tibbets family's acres of groves is under siege by the husband of Eliza's great-granddaughter Mavy. Franklin Wells, a true-blue yuppie who fell off the corporate fast track at Solvtex when his idea for expanding the business was stolen from him and implemented with fantastic success, married Earth-mother Mavy on the rebound. His plans to develop her groves, however, eventually put an end to their marriage; she disappears mysteriously after walking out on him, but their teenage son Aaron will protect his heritage with a vengeance--until a catastrophic mudslide effectively separates him from his past. Apocalyptic, black comedy from first to last: at times uncontrolled and plotless--but never dull.