Synopses & Reviews
Set in Fulton, North Carolina, this novel involves a not-so-random sampling of contemporary Fultonians whose lives intersect at a single place, Quee's place. Quee Perdy, an energetic, widowed free-spirit past 60, is an entrepreneur for whom love and sex are the commodities in which she deals. McCorkle's storytelling skills allow her to juggle six parallel stories--including murder--in a novel about playing God.
In the course of this wide-ranging, richly detailed novel, every kind of human problem finds its way to the doorstep of Quee Purdy, a tireless entrepreneur for whom love and sex are the "hot commodities" in which she deals. McCorkle's extraordinary storytelling skills allow her to juggle at least six parallel stories in a novel about playing God. And she does it divinely.
Fulton, North Carolina, gets pretty quiet during the off season. Or at least it seems that way. At the town post office it's so slow the postal clerk haas time to hunt through the dead letter file for entertaining reading. Out at nearby Feris Beach, erosion is turning waterfront properties into underwater properties, wave by wave. At the radio station, the local talk show host is late showing up so they're running the "Swap Shop" show early: "If you've got something you're itching to sell, something you mighta never woulda bought no way, then give us a call ..". And over on the wrong side of the tracks, Quee Purdy is warming up the aromatic massage oil. But this peaceful surface is about to crack wide open. In little Fulton, you see, at least one happily married woman entrusts her illicit love secrets to the dead letter file; at least one underwater property owner wants revenge; at least one radio talk show host is dying to hit the big time. And one energetic, voluptuous, free-spirited entrepreneur, well past sixty, is gearing up yet again to traffic in the "hot commodities" of love and sex. Her focus is on fixing broken hearts and on changing lives - she offers special kinds of repairs and alterations (and massage, too). In the course of this richly detailed novel - which includes six parallel love stories and an unsolved murder mystery - every kind of human problem finds its way to Quee Purdy's doorstep, from the fear of teenagers in trouble to the fallout from adulterous fusions. Quee lures the lost and lonely. She services the unserviceable. And, steadfastly refusing to cure incurable romantics, she savors the scorn of the self-righteous.
About the Author
Jill McCorkle is the author of eight previous books, five of which were New York Times Notable Books. Two stories in Going Away Shoes were published in The Best American Short Stories. Winner of the New England Book Award, the Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature, she teaches writing at North Carolina State University and lives with her husband in Hillsborough, North Carolina.