Snakewoman of Little Egypt

Snakewoman of Little Egypt

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
A middle-aged anthropology professor contemplating his future becomes romantically involved with a woman released from jail after shooting her husband, the pastor of a snake-handling church, in this new novel from the author of The Sixteen Pleasures.

McMillan Palgrave

On the morning of her release from prison, Sunny, who grew up in a snakehandling church in the Little Egypt region of Southern Illinois, rents a garage apartment from Jackson. She's been serving a five-year sentence for shooting, but not killing, her husband, the pastor of the Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following, after he forced her at gunpoint to put her arm in a box of rattlesnakes.

Sunny and Jackson become lovers, but they're pulled in different directions. Sunny, drawn to science and eager to put her snake handling past behind her, enrolls at the university. Jackson, however, takes a professional interest in the religious ecstasy exhibited by the snakehandlers. Push comes to shove in a novel packed with wit, substance, and emotional depth. Snakewoman of Little Egypt delivers Robert Hellenga at the top of his form.



Baker
& Taylor

A middle-aged anthropology professor contemplating his future becomes romantically involved with a woman released from jail after shooting her husband, the pastor of a snake-handling church.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, [2010]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9781608192625
1608192628
Branch Call Number: FICTION HELLE...R

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compelledto Jul 25, 2012

Interesting female character.

j
jmikesmith
Feb 10, 2011

This excellent novel weaves two stories together. One is the story of 40-something anthropologist Jackson, back in the U.S. after several years living with a pygmy tribe in Africa and missing the Forest and the people there. His story is told in the third person. The other story is that of the 30-something ex-con Sunny trying to re-build her life after escaping an abusive marriage to a small-town preacher in a church that practices the handling of venomous snakes. Her story is told in the first person.

This clearly and engagingly written novel tells of how Jackson and Sunny are both searching for meaning in their lives. One is trying to break from the past and the other is looking to re-capture it. They both hope that meaning can be found in things outside themselves, whether other people or activities like research or religion. The characters are fully human and totally believable. I suspect almost anyone can find something to relate to in this wonderful story.

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