Set on the flat plains of Kansas, Paullina Simons's first novel concerns a teenage friendship between three girls, overshadowed by a tragedy that will change their world forever. This is the story of one of those girls, a story of abuse and recovery, despair and redemption, and above all of love.
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Paullina Simons was born in Russia in 1963. As a child, she moved to New York City, and attended colleges in Long Island, New York, London, England and Lawrence, Kansas. She has worked as a translator and business writer; Tully is her first novel. She lives on Long Island.
Esteemed editor Bob Wyatt's initial book for his new imprint, this much ballyhooed first novel is not notable for literary merit but for the melodramatic story it tells. Set during the last two decades in Topeka, Kans., and centering on a tough kid named Tully who oddly resembles skater Tonya Harding in looks and deportment, the narrative chronicles Tully's wild struggle against her lower-class origins, circumstances and fate (not to mention her genes) without any redeeming growth or insights achieved by any of the central characters until at the end Tully belatedly realizes the error of her ways. It's an emotionally crude coming-of-age story in which Tully, her two best girlfriends and the two men she loves never seem to rise above adolescent emotions and behavior. The story has the no-holds-barred, cranked-out quality of 19th-century penny novels, with an abundance of cheap thrills and hair-raising scenes. We tag along as Tully endures abandonment, incest, abortion, child and spousal abuse, passion, promiscuity, marriage, motherhood, infidelity, terrible nightmares, midnight graveyard scenes, tortured partings with lovers and more. The most interesting character is the villain, Hedda Makker, Tully's mother, whose chief pleasure in life is beating the living daylights out of Tully. Though billed as "a big Russian novel" about mothers and daughters, much of the narrative has a breathless, awkward oral texture, although long patches of exposition have an evenness and clarity that suggest Simons's potential. Despite all the wailing, sighing and bloodletting--or perhaps because of it--the story is engrossing as tabloid features often are: not believeable or artful, but fascinating in a macabre way. 165,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection .
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description FLAMINGO, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2250063