Simple Jess

Pamela Morsi, Author
Pamela Morsi, Author Jove Books $6.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-515-11837-7
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Morsi (Marrying Stone) returns to Marrying Stone, Ark., 1906, for this pleasant hearth-and-home romance. Althea Winsloe is a young widow with a son named Baby-Paisley and a farm with the finest corn bottom on the mountain. Just like the best Jane Austen society, the Ozark community thinks that Althea is in need of a husband. But instead of Regency balls, Morsi's courting is conducted at hog slaughters (described in non-gory detail) and mountain socials. Althea is given until Christmas to pick herself a man, and to everyone's surprise, except the reader's, she chooses Simple Jess, a combination of Forrest Gump, Mr. Universe and a really great golden retriever. Jess Best may not be a smart man, but he sure knows what love is-and sex. Morsi is clever enough to incorporate mountain vocabulary and customs without a lot of twangy dialect. (Apr.)
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