Synopses & Reviews
May Anna Kovacks was discovered on the dustry streets of Butte, Montana and went on to become a Hollywood star. War, fame, marriage, love, and heartbreak came and went. What never changed was the bond she shared with her two best friends, Effa Commander and Whippy Bird. When scandal, murder, and betrayal made a legend of May Anna, only Effa and Whippy Bird could set the record straight.
"Country music between covers...Style, tone, and lesson in one succinct package." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Sometimes, sad, sometimes funny, but always right on the mark, this is a book about heritage, about friendships you will envy, about people doing their best, as well as their worst. Sandra Dallas has worked magic." --Cathie Pelletier
"Entertaining...memorable characters bring Prohibition-era Montana to life...Ms. Dallas has a good feeling for story, character, and dialogue." --The New York Times Book Review
"Undoubtedly one of the zippiest and most pleasant reads to come out this year... I read it the second time with equal pleasure just to make sure the magic was there. It is. It surely is."
--The Denver Post
About the Author
Award-winning author Sandra Dallas was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. She is the author of The Brides House, Whiter Than Snow, Prayers for Sale and Tallgrass, among others. She is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award and the two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. For 25 years, Dallas worked as a reporter covering the Rocky Mountain region for Business Week, and started writing fiction in 1990. She lives with her husband in Denver, Colorado.
Reading Group Guide
1. Butte, Montana is the strongest shaping force in the lives of these characters. How did growing up in Butte help or hinder May Anna in becoming a Hollywood star? Why did she never return after the publicity visit with Buster?
2. Buster Midnight's Cafe can be read as an examination of friendship. What qualities of friendship are most emphasized? May Anna does "immoral" thingsturning to prostitution, lying about a murder-but Effa Commander and Whippy Bird stay true friends to her. Should friendship allow people to ignore such things?
3. The story begins with Effa Commander's view of the people who write about celebrities-- she scorns Hunter Harper and the tourists because "They come here to see us, but they don't really want to get to know us." Does the media have the right to exploit the personal lives of celebrities just because the public is curious?
4. Toney and Buster also court the media. What effect does the spillover of press attention have on the lives of Effa Commander and Whippy Bird?
5. Effa Commander cheerfully, admits to being responsible for some misinformation. Why is it okay for Effa Commander and Whippy Bird to make up lies for the papers, but not for the papers (or Harper Hunter) to make up lies about them?
6. Although Effa Commander and Whippy Bird claim to have written May Anna's story, they've really produced their own biographies. Are they just using May Anna's life to make themselves famous?
7. What is the significance of the title?