Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
Another of my favorite books has been digitized, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts. I'm not quite sure how to categorize her books, but they're not romances per se; I'd say they had romantic elements and a deep understanding of the human psyche. I'd compare her to Fanny Flagg, another favorite of mine.
Caney Paxton is a paraplegic, injured during the Vietnam war. Along with PTSD, he has survivor's guilt because of the way he was injured. He's not left the Honk since it was built.
Vena Takes Horse and a badly injured dog show up at the Honk and change Caney's life.
The story of Caney and Vena and the others: Molly O, Bui Khanh, a Vietnamese refugee, and the regulars at the Honk and Holler, will warm your heart. All of them have problems and bad things can happen, but always there is hope and the resilience of the human spirit. Not everyone gets a happy ending (Mollie O and her daughter, Brenda), but the characters learn to accept what they must and then take their lives in a different direction.
Not all is depressing, there is humor too:
"A week later, the little locomotive in the city park was defaced with the word 'Niger' painted on its side either by a racist who couldn't spell or someone with an obscure connection to the age-old river which twisted its way through West Africa."
I highly recommend The Honk and Holler Opening Soon. I loved all the characters, I loved the story, I loved the writing and the humor and even the pathos.