Hens and Chickens

Jennifer Wixson
Jennifer Wixson. White Wave, $14.95 paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-9636689-8-1
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Rebecca is a middle-aged marketing professional who is downsized during the recession. Her friend and colleague, Lila, quits in solidarity, and the duo decide to move to Maine and raise chickens. They restore an old farmhouse and are instantly seduced by the congenial and open community of Sovereign. Lila becomes involved with local carpenter Mike, but must wrestle with her own demons to find the faith and strength to love him. Meanwhile, Rebecca thrives in the community and marries the man who sold her and Lila the farm. Wixson's novel is intended to kick off a trilogy set in Sovereign, but readers will likely not be lining up for the next two installments. The narrative contains preachy rambling passages and jumps through time, detracting from the pace and cohesion of the book. The characters are not fully developed, the setting is clich├ęd, and the story short on dramatic tension.
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