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Susan Juby, Harper, $13.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-199519-4

Juby, author of the Alice MacLeod books for young adults and a memoir of alcohol addiction (Nice Recovery), borrows from both genres for her first foray into adult fiction. The result is a sweetly cockamamie tale of the emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery of lost souls sharing a neglected farm, a seriously depressed sheep, a coop of fancy chickens, and a last shred of hope. In alternating voices, sunny optimist Prudence, who inherited the money-losing spread from her uncle; boozy blogger Seth; tween Sara, who raises poultry to console a life otherwise torn apart by two warring parents; and old-coot Earl, who has a mysterious and illustrious past, put their shaky lives and a dilapidated house together by discovering the best and forgiving the worst of each other. A wounded little girl and an indomitably hopeful big one book-end this lightly funny and touching yarn about an endearing band of social wrecks who are impossible not to love, at least a little. (Mar.)
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