Come and Go, Molly Snow

Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, Author W. W. Norton & Company $21 (269p) ISBN 978-0-393-03735-7
Carrie Marie Mullins is a hot-lick fiddler in a bluegrass band; and, like her, the author ``puts English on the melody'' in this lyrically told first novel. The daughter of a jazzman who died a tawdry death in a Florida motel room, Carrie followed her music to Lexington, Ky., when she was 18. She has gotten ahead on wits and elbow grease, choosing as a father for her child a transient of good humor and genes and fitting the idea of all-woman band around the edges of her life. Cap Dunlap is a can't-be-had guitarist with whom Carrie is silently obsessed. After he asks her to sit in with his band, Cap and Carrie struggle with unspoken desire, and she's daydreaming about him when her five-year-old, enchanting daughter Molly Snow careens down the driveway and is killed by a truck. Protective of the emotionally friable Carrie, Cap entrusts her to Ona and Ruth Barkley, feisty old sisters-in-law on a hardscrabble farm. Carrie's soul-tearing grief, regret, ambivalence about the future and resurrected inner strength are rendered in unstintingly pain-filled, exquisite prose. As in Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World, the events of this story are searing, but the writing is like a plaintive, unforgettable song, and the book is not to be missed. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Paperback - 269 pages - 978-0-380-72702-5
Paperback - 269 pages - 978-0-8131-9216-1
Open Ebook - 274 pages - 978-0-8131-5991-1
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