The Flood Girls
Booklist Reviews 2015 December #2
Rachel Flood returns home to make amends nine years after her mother, Laverna, kicked her out. When she left she was an 18-year-old, bed-hopping alcoholic with no regard for the people she hurt or the relationships she ruined. Now, in 1991, she's a year sober and stuck on AA's eighth and ninth steps. But the people of her hometown of Quinn, Montana (population 956), remember the old Rachel, and it takes time—while she tends bar at her mother's establishment, the Dirty Shame, and plays right field for the Flood Girls, the women's softball team her mother coaches—for them to come around. Fortunately, Rachel has support from Jake Bailey, her gay, 12-year-old neighbor; volunteer fireman and handyman Bucky Peterson; and the seven old men of her local AA group. Fifield's debut is an exaggerated, no-holds-barred portrait of a small town that doesn't easily forget or forgive, and it turns alternately laugh-out-loud funny and sadly all-too-true. But a veer to the dark near the end of the narrative leaches some of the pleasure out of what has preceded. A notable accomplishment with a sad aftertaste. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2015 December #3
In Fifield's excellent fiction debut, alcoholic Rachel Flood returns to her hometown of Quinn, Mont. (pop. 956), after a nine-year self-imposed exile, coming back to atone for her teenage behavior—out-of-control fighting, drinking, and promiscuous sex. Her mother, Laverna Flood, is the hard-boiled, vulgar owner of the Dirty Shame, a bar where mixed drinks are too much trouble to make and fistfights are encouraged. Rachel and Laverna haven't spoken since she left. Rachel's unexpected appearance is not welcome, but she is determined to complete Alcoholics Anonymous's 12-step program, to make amends and redeem herself. Fifield has created a colorful, quirky, and amusing cast of small-town characters. Rachel's best friend and protector is Jake, her next-door neighbor, a sensitive and worldly 12-year-old, who is also a snappy dresser and likes to do laundry. Barflies Red Mabel and Black Mabel and gas station cashier Martha Man Hands also become friends, but only after Rachel is forced to play on her mother's wacky and winless softball team, the Flood Girls. This hilarious and profane story takes a tragic turn at the end, revealing just how fragile love and friendship can be. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC