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Witches on the Road Tonight
Synopses & Reviews
As a child growing up in Depression-era rural Virginia, Eddie Alleys quiet life is rooted in the rumors of his mothers witchcraft. But when he's visited by a writer and glamorous photographer researching American folklore for the WPA, the spell of his mothers unorthodox life is violently disrupted, and Eddie is inspired to pursue a future beyond the confines of his dead-end town.
He leaves for New York and becomes a television horror-movie presenter beloved for his kitschy comedy. Though expert at softening terror for his young fans, Eddie cannot escape the guilty secrets of his own childhood. When he opens his familys door to a homeless teenager working as an intern at the TV station, the boys presence not only awakens something in Eddie, but also in his twelve-year-old daughter, Wallis, who has begun to feel a strange kinship to her notorious grandmother. As the ghost stories of one generation infiltrate the next, Wallis and Eddie grapple with the sins of the past to repair their misguided attempts at loyalty and redemption.
In Witches on the Road Tonight, bestselling author Sheri Holman teases out the dark compulsions and desperate longings that blur the line between love and betrayal.
"Holman (The Dress Lodger) investigates a dynasty of fear, mysticism, guilt, and love, beginning in Depression-era Appalachia through to contemporary Manhattan, in her uneven but heartbreaking latest. In 1940, Eddie Alley is a shy boy living in rural Virginia with his mother, Cora, who is dogged by rumors of witchcraft. A visit from a writer and photographer from the WPA opens Eddie's eyes to the possibilities outside his tiny town, starting him on the path to becoming Captain Casket, a cartoonish TV horror movie presenter. But beneath Captain Casket's makeup and kitsch lurk secrets and tortures waiting to burst out. Holman dodges back and forth over a 70-year period, checking in on Eddie, Cora, Eddie's daughter Wallis, and homeless teenager Jasper, whom Eddie takes in and acts as a reluctant lynchpin for a tortuous familial would-be love triangle. Though the story flags in the middle section, it does recover in time to map out the devastating consequences of sin and circumstance that were forged in the hills of Appalachia and tumbled down through the generations. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Sheri Holman is the author of A Stolen Tongue; The Dress Lodger, a New York Times Notable Book; and The Mammoth Cheese, short listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction and a San Francisco Chronicle and Publishers Weekly Book of the Year.
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