The Honk and Holler opening soon

Billie Letts.

The neon sign had seemed appropriate when the Honk and Holler Opening Soon was being built. But twelve years later, the once-busy highway outside Sequoyah, Oklahoma, is little-traveled, and "opening soon" is a tired joke. Today the sign is as battered and beaten as the cafe and its owner, Caney Paxton, a Vietnam War veteran who hasn't ventured outside since its opening. The characters who drift in and out of the Honk don't change much: Molly O, a four-times married earth mother who recognizes a wounded spirit when she meets one; Life Halstead, a widower who eats three meals a day in the cafe so he can be near Molly O; Hooks Red Eagle, Soldier Starr, and Quinton Roach, Cherokee veterans of World War II; and Bilbo and Peg Porter--Bilbo steadily puffing his smokes while Peg struggles for breath through her oxygen mask. With Christmas only days away, their lives are to be forever changed with the arrival of Vena Takes Horse, a Crow woman on a quest, and Bui Khanh, a Vietnamese refugee looking for home. A story that crackles and sizzles like burgers on a red-hot grill, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon captures a small town's prejudice and tolerance, violence and big-heartedness. It convinces us that dark clouds can really have silver linings. And it leaves us hungry for more writing from Billie Letts and the Oklahoma she portrays with so much vitality and love.


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A Cornucopia of BooksPosted November 14, 2012