Don Graham
May 17, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Playing the Bones

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Louise Redd
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B-

In Louise Redd’s peppy first novel, Playing the Bones, narrator Lacy Springs, a Texas dazzler with hair ”the color of a blood orange” has a fling with a rising blues god named Black Jesus. A smooth operator with a dark side (he beats his girlfriend and shoots a pet dog), Jesus turns out to be anything but Lacy’s savior. That job falls instead to therapist Eva, a cut-rate graduate student psychologist who encourages Lacy to revisit childhood humiliations at the hands of her bitchy mother, who forced her to eat dog food, and Donny, a fat babysitter who for years routinely molested her. By the end of this spirited, if uneven, novel, Lacy has almost managed to vanquish her demons. B-

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