Secondhand Smoke: A Wickedly Dark Comedy
By: Patty FriedmannJERUSHA'S POISON… to just about everyone--particularly her adult children. Fortunately, poison is the very superfood of the satirist. Patty Friedmann, the reigning queen of black comedy, hits one out of the park with her family straight out of Tolstoy--unhappy in its own way, a uniquely twisted Southern way.
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Book DescriptionMeet the Baileys. Born and bred in a working class New Orleans neighborhood, Zib and Wilson think the thick cloud of cigarette smoke enveloping their mother is what probably killed their father. Certainly the toxicity of Jerusha's dark, cynical attitudes has driven her children far from the nest. Wilson has escaped to Chicago, married a woman who hates him, converted to Judaism, and become a decorated professor of Organic Evolution. Zib, almost forty, has made it only as far as the Florida Panhandle, where she's an assistant manager at the local Winn-Dixie, doomed to fending off a sleazy boss given to late night phone calls. Only one person, obviously as isolated as she is, shows Jerusha any affection: Dustin Puglia, chubby, wise, and fearless, a ten-year-old living next door with a poisonous mother of his own.
Although Wilson and Zib have forged independent lives away from their mother—as well as each other—their father's death brings them back together for a darkly droll, yet heart-wrenching round of domestic insanity.
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