Out of Warranty

Haywood Smith. St. Martin’s, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-00352-2
In her quirky new novel, Smith (Waking Up in Dixie) follows two ailing oddballs—one a widow, the other a recluse—as they struggle to overcome medical problems. Cassie Jones, who has been branded a hypochondriac, is relieved to learn that her multitude of symptoms can be traced to a mold allergy—unfortunately, she’s uninsured and is scrambling to find a new husband to take advantage of his coverage. While at the doctor’s, she becomes acquainted with cranky Jack Wilson, whose filthy farmhouse is packed to the rafters with “part trash, part treasure.” They begin a careful friendship based on their mutual poor health, which keeps them on “the same wretched diet” and medications. When it dawns on Jack that he has the insurance Cassie seeks, while she has a clean place for him to live, Jack proposes that they marry and live as platonic friends. But the promise of health might not be enough for the two to overcome what holds them back. Cassie and Jack are both over-the-top and occasionally irritating, but in Smith’s care, they become endearing and believably neurotic protagonists. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 01/22/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-250-02598-2
Library Binding - 400 pages - 978-1-61173-665-6
Paperback - 387 pages - 978-1-250-04477-8
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