Jean Brody Cleo

ISBN 13: 9780312150785

Cleo

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9780312150785: Cleo
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As a teenager, Cleo hits the road, armed with only $20 in egg money, her dead father's trumpet, and a copy of My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel. She had tried to grow up as afast as she could on a farm in Robina County, Oklahoma, in the 1920s. The 432 books she has borrowed from the local pharmacy/lending library have given her a bad case of wanderlust.
The Himalayas sound pretty daunting, even to a girl like Cleo, so she settles on Tulsa instead, playing her horn in a speakeasy and fending off a lecherous minister. Years pass, and in the wake of a senseless tragedy Cleo goes as far west as California, but ultimately returns home to Oklahoma to reconcile with her Bible-quoting mother, write the biography of her ninety-seven year old grandmother, and begin a new business venture.
Despite the narrow compass of her travels, Cleo's mind and spirit range free and interpret everyday experience in original ways. She ends her tale rooted in Robina but with eyes firmly fixed on the far horizon.

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About the Author:

Jane Brody, a native Oklahoman is proprietor of the Cambria Book Company in Cambria, California. She is the author of two other books set in Robina County: Gideon's House and A Coven of Women. The Wyatt Book hardcover edition of Cleo was selected by the Literary Guild.

From Publishers Weekly:

Brody, whose Gideon's House and A Coven of Women were set in Robina County, Okla., returns to the same territory in this tale of happiness hard-won over the course of a quarter century. It's 1927 when Cleo, 15, runs away from home and lands a trumpet-playing gig at a Tulsa speakeasy. Though raised on a farm, she has learned some street smarts through library books, particularly Alexandra David-Neel's My Journey to Lhasa. This educated Huck Finn considers Tulsa only a way station en route to Tibet, in fact, but romance halts her in her tracks as she marries at 18 and bears two children before tragedy sends her back to her birthplace. There, although Lhasa still haunts her, Cleo finds solace in recording her grandmother's life story and in tending a cash crop of strawberries. Propelled by Cleo's distinctive voice and delivery, this fast-moving saga has predictably picaresque elements. Cleo receives numerous second chances at the independence she once grasped so effortlessly, and while success comes later than expected, it does arrive. Meanwhile, if any character vanishes, he or she is likely to reappear years later, as do a lascivious preacher and Cleo's first beau. But with the exception of Cleo's grandmother, characters don't linger long enough to sadden and delight, and the story's potentially startling moments are sometimes softened by foreshadowing. When Brody hands Cleo the happy ending that's in the offing from page one, readers may be pleased, but they won't be surprised.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jean Brody
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