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She Flew The Coop: A Novel Concerning Life, Death, Sex and Recipes in Limoges, Louisiana

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”How come so much happens that folks can’t talk about?” asks a child in Michael Lee West’s fictional town. But West writes splendidly about it all in this Deep Southern Scarlet Letterknown as She Flew The Coop: A Novel Concerning Life, Death, Sex and Recipes in Limoges, Louisiana, which is full of rollicking humor, explicit sex, terrifying physical and emotional violence, and people you’ll laugh at and want to slap unconscious. The town minister likes adolescent girls, and his dexterity with God’s word makes him a persuasive seducer. When he impregnates young Olive Nepper, she poisons herself and lingers in a coma for the whole book. The reverberations ripple through every social level of town, revealing, among other secrets, that the minister is not the only one who yields to sinful desires. West narrates from each character’s own point of view, and by the time she’s finished you’ll feel like you live in their midst. You’ll want to move, of course, but you’ll never forget the place. A

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