After Hours at the Almost Home

Tara Yellen, Author Unbridled Books $14.95 (259p) ISBN 978-1-932961-48-5
Yellen's first novel is a valiant attempt to capture, in plainly realistic prose, the complex inner workings of a generic American bar over the course of a single evening. Having moved five times for six different jobs, JJ once again finds herself in a new gig as a waitress at the Almost Home bar in Denver. Her first night happens to be Super Bowl Sunday, with the hometown Denver Broncos playing. While trying to learn the ropes (and messing up plenty of orders), JJ also has to master the bar's web of employee relationships: Colleen, the widow of a bar regular, has nowhere to leave her 14-year-old daughter, Lily, who often ends up at the bar with her; Denny is dealing with a breakup and the possibility of another relationship with Lena, also a waitress at the Almost Home; Keith awaits the end of the night, when he plans to run away with the bartender, Marna. The other cast of bar regulars wait out the game crowd and stay long into the night, engaged in a plot as intricate as a Greek tragedy. The result is a novel that feels like a one-act play, stuffed with subtexts and begging for actors to bring the sometimes stale dynamics to life. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-936071-13-5
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