Sunday, July 13, 2008

Moonpies and Movie Stars-Amy Wallen

Moonpies and Movie Stars
Amy Wallen
Plume, Jun 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780452288959

In 1976 in Divine, Texas grandmother Ruby Kincaid feels her life is overflowing with family concerns with no time for herself. The widow runs her late husband's bowling alley; serves as mother to her runaway daughter’s abandoned children Bunny and Bubbie whose dad is about to remarry; and finally puts up with her impudent childish sister Loralva. Ruby copes nicely with her “moonpie” lifestyle until she sees her absentee daughter Violet starring in a TV commercial.

Outraged, Ruby decides enough of this inane separation; though she also knows she would not mind a bit of self time. She mounts a save the marriage and family rescue mission. Loading her Winnebago with MoonPies to limit the stops, Ruby, Loralva, Bunny, Bubbie and their paternal grandma Imogene head to Hollywood to bring Victoria home; with an agreed upon side trip to meet Bob Barker on The Price Is Right.

This is an amusing yet angst ridden historical tale in which rural Texas dirt meets Hollywood glitter on Hollywood and Vine. The trek west is fun as long as you are metaphysically arm-chairing the journey. Though some of the capers the Divine trio get into seem strained beyond farcical lampooning, fans will appreciate this interesting look at save the marriage while wondering whether they can succeed when Violet has seen the lights of Hollywood; Americanization of “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?”

Harriet Klausner

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