Thirsty City

Phillip Quinn Morris, Author Random House (NY) $17.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-394-57581-0
Sumpter County, Ala., is the heart of the heart of Dixie. It is also a dry county, and this raucous and pungent novel regales us with the story of how its thirsty citizens are supplied with bootleg whiskey. The conduit is Bennie J. Reynolds, shrewd and affable business tycoon and dedicated family man. If B.J. has any worries at all, they center on the antics of his children, Wright and Winn, and on the increasingly strange behavior of his niece Hanna. Wright, at 18 already being groomed for a political career, broods over leaving home for college and is resolved to make his last summer in Sumpter County memorable. Winn, 22, back from an extravagant trip to Europe, has yet to settle down and graduate from one of the many colleges she's attended. A fortune teller has told 17-year-old Hanna she will die before her 18th birthday; she is unsettled, to say the least. The three young people roar through the summer of 1970 with abandon, leaving in their wake a shaken yet admiring citizenry. This book by the author of Mussels is a celebration of moonshine, fast cars and beautiful women, enriched by vivacious characters, earthy scenes and a witty yet loving look at some highly prized local customs. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
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