Swift, Virginia Brown-Eyed Girl

ISBN 13: 9780060195557

Brown-Eyed Girl

3.46 avg rating
( 50 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060195557: Brown-Eyed Girl

Sally Alder is a couple of ears past her wild youth as the hard-drinking, guitar playing, hell-raising singer known as Mustang Sally. But then she's grown with age, She's wiser and more coolheaded now, and, more important, Sally has learned how to keep a secret. It's a good thing, too, because she's going to need every advantage she's gained in order to handle the job she's just taken.

Imagine having to move from LA to Laramie to get a thrill.

A professor of history at UCLA, Sally has just been offered the hugely endowed and deliciously secretive Dunwoodie Distinguished Chair in American Women's History at the University of Wyoming. Job description: Move into the late Meg Dunwoodie's posh residence in Laramie (the only one of its kind) and, with sole proprietors of her papers, construct the definitive Meg Dunwoodie biography--without telling anyone anything about it.

Sally Alder is a couple of ears past her wild youth as the hard-drinking, guitar playing, hell-raising singer known as Mustang Sally. But then she's grown with age, She's wiser and more coolheaded now, and, more important, Sally has learned how to keep a secret. It's a good thing, too, because she's going to need every advantage she's gained in order to handle the job she's just taken.

Imagine having to move from LA to Laramie to get a thrill.

A professor of history at UCLA, Sally has just been offered the hugely endowed and deliciously secretive Dunwoodie Distinguished Chair in American Women's History at the University of Wyoming. Job description: Move into the late Meg Dunwoodie's posh residence in Laramie (the only one of its kind) and, with sole proprietors of her papers, construct the definitive Meg Dunwoodie biography--without telling anyone anything about it.

In this town, rumors abound and secrets are practically nonexistent.

Of course, everyone knows that Sally has been hired to poke through old Meg's papers, and a lot of people think that somewhere among them sits a treasure map that could lead to a fortune in gold Krugerrands. Oneway or another, most of Laramie is determined to getinto Meg Dunwoodie's house.

There are break-ins, a curious sheriff, gossipy friends, and avaricious faculty at the university. And, if that isn't enough to distract Sally from her research, sexy Hawk Green has shown up to rekindle a romance Sally thought was gone forever.

But all this goes deeper and the stakes are higher thanSally could have imagined. As she delves intoMeg's romantic and heartbreaking past as a foreigncorrespondent in Paris during World War II, the forces of good and evil are aligning in Laramie, and Sally realizes that, truly, those who don't learn from their pasts are doomed to repeat it.

In the tradition, of Susan Isaacs and Fannie Flagg, Virginia Swift has written a story that breaks the mold, with a cast of finely drawn characters and a heroine whose wit and intelligence are matched only by herdetermination.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The Prodigal Daughter is coming home. Bring on the fatted calf--or at the very least an order of onion rings and a stiff shot of Kentucky bourbon. Sally Alder, once the hard-living, hard-drinking, better-than-average singing star of the Laramie, Wyoming, country-and-western bar scene is back in her hometown for the first time in 17 years. And to the amazement (and horror) of many, she's back as a respected scholar and holder of the Dunwoodie Distinguished Chair in American Women's History at the University of Wyoming. It's a career move that doesn't sit well with many of her new colleagues, as police chief Dickie Langham muses: "He decided that she would be making more than enough to infuriate the average chronically underpaid Wyoming history professor.... How much worse that Sally was somebody who had once put herself through a master's program in history by singing songs like 'Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers.'"

Sally has been hired, in part, to write the biography of Margaret Dunwoodie, a well-known frontier poet whose work is troubling, seductive, and hilarious (Sally's favorite poem is "Still Life of Fascists with Herefords"). As Sally makes her way slowly through a lifetime's worth of papers, poems, letters, and shopping lists, she finds her attention drifting more toward the present than the past; how to reposition herself in Laramie society, how to negotiate a newly explosive courtship with former lover Hawk Green--these seem far more pressing than Dunwoodie's story. Brown-Eyed Girl is no fast-paced thriller; Swift is content to let her story drift as peacefully as spring snow moving across the plains.

For that reason, the brusque demands of plot, action, and mystery seem to strike a foreign chord upon their introduction. When a distant relative of the poet, disgruntled at having been denied what he considers his rightful inheritance, joins forces with reactionary millionaire Teton County rancher Elroy Foote to menace Sally and steal a fortune they are convinced is hidden among the papers, the novel teeters precariously on the verge of trying to become something it isn't. But Swift wisely retreats from overinvesting in a plot that is, it must be said, too weak to support itself. She chooses instead to treat Foote and his henchmen with a sly sense of the absurd: "Most of the Unknown Soldiers were intellectually challenged good ol' boys and mentally rearranged Vietnam vets who thought for various reasons (too many wilderness areas, too many missile silos, the advent of bad cappuccino at the local Diamond Shamrock) that foreigners and the federal government were engaged in a secret plot to take over Wyoming."

Though the capital-M Mystery aspect of Brown-Eyed Girl is perhaps more a distraction than an attraction, the little mysteries of the human personality--the foibles of friends, lovers, and enemies--more than make up for its intrusion. Swift's talent for person and place will easily woo you away from plot. --Kelly Flynn

About the Author:

Virginia Swift is a professor at the University of New Mexico. She also writes history under the name of Virginia Scharff. She Iives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Swift, Virginia
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Nemax_CO
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 006019555X In NEW, unread book in excellent condition. No nicks or tears on dust jacket that has clean, straight edges. MoNeY Back Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # A-6-18

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.80
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Swift, Virginia
Published by Harper (2000)
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006019555X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Swift, Virginia
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800601955571.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.93
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Swift, Virginia
Published by Harper Collins, New York (2000)
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Great Northern Books
(Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins, New York, 2000. Cloth. Book Condition: New. First edition. New. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR on the title page. Author's first novel. Bookseller Inventory # 1881

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Swift, Virginia
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 006019555X We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-006019555X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 22.39
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Swift, Virginia
Published by Harper (2000)
ISBN 10: 006019555X ISBN 13: 9780060195557
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 006019555X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 32.77
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds