Nowhere But Home
Genre: Chick Lit
Summary (from Goodreads): A brilliant, hilarious, and touching story with a Texas twist from Liza Palmer, author of Conversations With The Fat Girl (optioned for HBO)
Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family's reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It's been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can't be that bad…
Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?
At least she has a new job-sure it's cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don't complain!
But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.
Review: Southern small town fiction often seems to be full of prejudiced, gossipy women, and this book was no exception. All the characters had known each other their whole lives, and no one had managed to change their status or friendships. Perhaps that's the way small Southern towns are, but it is frustrating to read about and seems unrealistic. Don't new people ever move to town or old people move out? Aren't people smart enough to realize that the daughters of a philandering white trash ho can make decent lives for themselves? Don't snobby, gossipy, cliquish mean girls ever grow up and mature? Apparently not in this book.
Queenie's new job cooking for death row inmates was the highlight of this story, and I wish more time had been spent on her feelings about cooking last meals and the details involved in this. I also enjoyed reading about her work with her two sous chefs and the prison guards. And the descriptions of her food made my mouth water! I would have enjoyed this book much more if this had been the primary focus of the book, rather than the small-minded small-town conflicts that made up the majority of the story.
Rating: 3 stars