The Big Bang

Linda Joffe Hull. Tyrus (F + W Media, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4405-4415-6
Hull’s satisfying debut explores the McMansions of Melody Mountain Ranch, a planned suburb where eating disorders, lesbian affairs, and a coven of teenage witches are just a few of the outrageous secrets hiding behind the idyllic facades. Hope Jordan is obsessed with having a baby, but months of fruitless trying have taken their toll. Her new neighbor, Tim Trautman, has hired her to design a nursery, though he’s barely able to hide the fact that his interest in Hope is more than professional—and he’s not the only one. She’s also caught the eye of stay-at-home dad Will Pierce-Cohn and Frank Griffin, the local minister and homeowners’ board president. When a batch of laced brownies doses neighborhood Memorial Day picnickers, the residents’ hidden desires emerge. But the most toxic secrets of all are hidden by the Ranch itself, and when they come to light, the damage will affect the entire subdivision. Despite a slow start and some awkward one-liners, Hull deftly handles a multitude of complicated characters and brings about a conclusion that will leave readers suitably scandalized. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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