Carol Guess, Author
Carol Guess, Author Calyx Books $14.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-934971-60-7
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 06/01/1998
At first glance, the waitresses at the M&H Diner in Cartwheel, Ind., look just like everyone else, just a little closer to central casting: good listener Caddie, flirtatious Selena, sweet Gwen. Yet each harbors a secret existence. What almost nobody around them notices is that Caddie is a lesbian whose lover is so butch that everyone believes ""she"" is a ""he""; that Selena has a furniture fetish, preferring objects to people; and that Gwen is an abusive, neglectful mother. Guess (Selling Dell) reveals these hidden lives through the voices of alternating narrators: Caddie, Selena, Caddie's lover and other members of the waitresses' circle. Guess deftly performs the parlor trick of handling the several different voices, switching fluidly from perceptive Caddie to the clipped cadence of masculine Jo to jaded Selena. This Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore for the 1990s celebrates the differences between people without fudging the loneliness that these entail. Guess's attempts to put a Midwestern spin on magical realism are blessedly rare: in a book loaded with so many natural surprises, any supernatural extras would be gilt on the lily. Rights: Elizabeth Wales of Levant and Wales, Seattle. (July)
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