I haven’t done a book review for awhile so I decided this is my Thursday post. No – I’m not going to review an obscure indie, an urban fantasy, a paranormal mystery, or erotica today. Actually this book has been on my mind a lot lately. It was so potent that I can’t stop thinking about it — and I read it back in 1996!
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Just a note – the Kindle edition costs as much as the paperback. ::shrug::
I first read this book years ago on recommendation of a friend. I’m not usually big on the “Americana slice-of-life” type books, but this one was exceptionally good. I’m going to be really frank for a moment (so forgive me).
This is a powerful story about “white trash” America, with characters that jump off the page and come to life. I’m not even sure where to begin. Basically I remember the story being told through the eyes of a girl growing up dirt poor (and I’m pretty sure she’s being molested by her father, but it was merely eluded to – not outright said). You get the sense that the family tree doesn’t branch a whole lot. Just sayin’… Basically the whole clan are just a bunch of dirt poor breeders and it’s a fascinating character study. (I like books like that).
To this day I still recommend Chute’s book to friends who love to read. Every last one of them has come back and told me how much they enjoyed it. Beans of Egypt Maine is gritty, it’s uncomfortable, it’s amusing, and it’s realistic. This is a damn fine novel that I think many people will enjoy regardless your regular genre of choice. I’m thinking of reading it again because it’s been so long. The fact that I would read it again speaks volumes. I very rarely read books a second time (unless it’s a Dana Reed novel).