Lookaway, Lookaway

Lookaway, Lookaway

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Dixieland was never so dishy nor dysfunctional as in Barnhardt's ribald send-up of the conflagration that ensues when Old South tradition confronts New South tackiness. Set in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, this tale of the venerable Johnston family and the early twenty-first-century dissolution of its fortune is filtered through the eyes of each of its malcontent members. There's matriarch, Jerene, daughter of an abusive father and abused mother, who rules her own roost with a "steel magnolia" resolve. A college-football legend and Civil War scion, her husband, Duke, unemployed lo these 20 years, lives off his residuals and reputation. Their children, morbidly obese real-estate mogul Annie, sorority slut Jerilyn, mousey minister Bo, and closeted gay sales clerk Josh, help fuel the scandals and deplete the funds that force the Johnstons to turn to Jerene's fabulously wealthy, but scandalously heartless, dipsomaniac brother, Gaston, a writer of southern gothic Civil War bodice rippers. From abortion to alcoholism, bankruptcy to bacchanalia, Barnhardt's satirical scorching of southern culture comes in second only to Sherman's fiery march. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews

Released by St. Martins Press on Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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