I was gifted this book for Christmas, but it was the paperback Target Club Pick edition with a cool looking trailer on the cover. The best sentence in the whole book is the first one – “Every night, Frank played harmonica for the cats”. Except Frank doesn’t make it past the first chapter! The trailer park neighbor kid, Jake, is told he shouldn’t be seeing this, as they haul Frank’s body out, but Jake takes the harmonicas and keeps them under his bed.
What happens in the rest of the novel which is set in Quinn, Montana – population 956? Rachel Flood, the town home wrecker returns after a self-imposed leave to sober up. She tries to make amends with her mother who runs the local bar, The Dirty Shame. Rachel ends up paying her dues by being forced to tend bar AND play on her mother’s soft ball league.
Unfortunately, I found the book to be flat. I kept waiting for a big thing to happen that would propel me through the rest of the book. Bar night, followed by bar brawl, followed by too much drinking, followed by hungover softball game – repeat.
My favorite character was misunderstood and neglected Jake, who drew his understanding of life from Jackie Collins novels and Rocky Horror Picture Show. He had a sewing machine that was his source of solace. What happens with him at the end of the novel made me want the throw the book across the room. I guess the dilapidated trailer on the cover should have been enough warning.