Hank & Chloe

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9780060169435: Hank & Chloe

Set in the canyonlands of Southern California, a witty contemporary romance follows thirty-something waitress Chloe Morgan, who must choose between her solitary lifestyle or love with an exciting new man. By the author of Fault Line. A first novel. National ad/promo.

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About the Author:

Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning a graduate degree from Vermont College's low residency program, she taught at Orange Coast College for six years before turning to full-time writing in 1996. Mapson is the author of the acclaimed novels Shadow Ranch, Blue Rodeo, Hank Chloe, and Loving Chloe."The land is as much a character as the people," Mapson has said. Whether writing about the stark beauty of a California canyon or the poverty of an Arizona reservation, Mapson's landscapes are imbued with life. Setting her fiction in the Southwest, Mapson writes about a region that she knows well; after growing up in California and living for a time in Arizona and New Mexico, Mapson lives today in Cosa Mesa, California. She attributes her focus on setting to the influence of Wallace Stegner.Like many of her characters, Mapson has ridden horses since she was a child. She owns a 35-year-old Appaloosa and has said that she learned about writing from learning to jump her horse, Tonto. "I realized," she said, "that the same thing that had been wrong with my riding was the same thing that had been wrong with my writing. In riding there is a term called `the moment of suspension,' when you're over the fence, just hanging in the air. I had to give myself up to it, let go, trust the motion. Once I got that right, everything fell into place."

From Kirkus Reviews:

A warmly human first novel that lingers in the mind long after its heroes have seen the sunset--from poet and storywriter Mapson (Fault Line, 1989--not reviewed). Hank, middle-aged, middle-class, and still single, teaches folklore and mythology at the junior college in his southern California hometown. Chloe, 33 and struggling to make it through each day, waits tables at a local diner, gives equitation lessons to rich kids, and has recently moved from her pickup truck to a one-room, cold-water shack in the canyons. The two meet when Chloe, once a prize-winning rider whose life collapsed after her cowboy lover drank himself to death, helps a professor at the college birth a new colt. Hank, transfixed by Chloe's beauty as she sheds her bloodstained sweatshirt, offers her his prized Irish cotton shirt to wear instead. Hank trails Chloe to the diner and soon, despite their obvious differences, the two become an oft-remarked- upon item around town. Then Chloe's shack is invaded by police who tear up her house, break her ankle, and arrest her for assault, apparently at the behest of developers who are after the land. Hank grabs the chance to rescue his lover from jail and shepherd her through the legal process until justice is done. But to Hank's dismay Chloe refuses to play damsel in distress, preferring to break up with him instead and sink back comfortably into fatalism and despair. Friends and family shake their heads in mourning, but folklorist Hank knows another quest is in order: This time he leaves his job and begins a journey of the soul, patiently rebuilding a shack in the Arizona desert--until Chloe comes riding up in her truck to make his day. Gentle, earthy, down-home fiction from the New West. (First serial to Cosmopolitan) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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