Bingo

Rita Mae Brown, Author
Rita Mae Brown, Author Bantam Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-05306-7
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
The author of Rubyfruit Jungle packs an astonishing number of characters and severed loyalties into this amusing, poignant tale, set in fictional Runnymede, Md., a town divided by the Mason-Dixon line, where feuds erupt with the regularity of the weekly bingo night. The queens of contention are the octogenarian Hunsenmeir sisters (introduced in Six of One ), who slug it out with repartee and second-childhood antics when both fall in love with visiting widower Ed Tutweiler Walters. Nickel Smith, daughter and niece of the Hunsenmeir sisters, has reached her late 30s with well-defined roles in the community: as a respected journalist for the Clarion and as a tacitly accepted (read discreet) lesbian. But Nickel's history comes unraveled when she falls into an affair with her best friend's husband, and the newspaper is sold to big-money interests. Along with sketches of zany homegrown characters, Brown offers unpredictable plot resolutions that reinforce her reputation as a writer unafraid of new directions. Similar to, although not as much fun as, Six of One , this is vintage Brown nevertheless. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour. (November)
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