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When Pammy Outlaw's husband goes off to college and her daughter begins to rebel, she learns to follow her own dreams and ambitions, in a humorous story of a women's self-discovery. By the author of Hairdo.
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A former beauty queen wrestles with her roles of daughter, mother, and wife of an adulterer--in Gilbert's funny, at times insightful, novel (Hairdo, Dixie Riggs). Pammy Outlaw, ex-Miss South Carolina, is slim and beautiful, mother of a beautiful, smart 12-year-old, but her life is a nightmare. Handsome husband Flick, formerly a good provider, has gone back to school for his Ph.D. in lit; she, meanwhile, has no intellectual pretensions--we get to hear Flick deconstruct a fish tank--but it still hurts when Flick and his new friends snub her. Furthermore, Flick complains about the expense of Pammy's dragging daughter Evie on the same sort of beauty pageant circuit that made Pammy's childhood miserable. Then Pammy finds Flick's hotel bill from a liaison with a fellow grad student...so it's home to mother, the ex-Miss New Jersey. We learn that Pammy has often fantasized killing her mother with hatchets, yet she says, ``...the greatest love in the world is the love that goes on between a mother and a daughter and it never makes any sense at all.'' As Evie approaches puberty, we also learn that Pammy had an abortion at 13. Now, a pair of summer gloves handed down through the women of the family are given to Pammy by her mother, to supplement the rest of the handed-down burdens, like fear of food and a warped self-image. To top if off, her mother has entered the three of them in a grandmother-mother-daughter beauty contest. Pammy's good-girl self says she should get back together with the joyless Flick, but instead she has a fling with Sam--a middle-aged pilot and lawyer with sexy hands--and, eventually, learns to ``fly'' on her own. A rollicking good farce, if told by a somewhat unreliable, self-contradictory--and occasionally tiresomely repetitive-- narrator. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Three generations of beauty-pageant contestants collide in Gilbert's ( Dixie Riggs ) audacious, insightful and characteristically hilarious third effort. Here, Atlantan narrator Pammy Outlaw laments the realization that she's "turning into" her mother. That mother, known sarcastically--but also affectionately--by her onetime title of Miss New Jersey, taught Pammy that good looks were the key to fulfillment. Now, Pammy maintains a perfect figure and forces her own 12-year-old daughter to enter every pageant that comes down the pike. Inwardly, Pammy berates herself for being a stage mother, knowing that her obsessive behavior is a reaction to her husband's philandering. Only Miss New Jersey--the unwitting object of many of Pammy's ax-murdering fantasies, yet a symbol of unconditional love nonetheless--provides the comfort her daughter requires. Like Jill McCorkle's characters, Gilbert's nervy, unequivocating heroines do more than give rousing monologues: they invite readers to share their hang-ups and their victories, and even seem to possess the ability to absolve guilt (in this case, over exaggerated matricidal notions). Even if the syrupy, indecisive conclusion is a slight letdown, Gilbert's latest is a (Georgia) peach.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Included. 1st Edition.... NY: Warner, 1993. First Edition. Fine/Fine. 0.0. Seller Inventory # 2677
Book Description Grand Central Pub, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0446516899
Book Description Warner Books, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0446516899
Book Description Grand Central Pub, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110446516899