“Flannery O’Connor takes center stage in this absolutely superb novel that bristles with tension and perfectly-drawn characters. Set in Millidgeville, Georgia (O’Connor’s hometown), the story opens on the eve of Cookie Himmel and fiancé Melvin Whiteson’s wedding. Flannery’s herd of wild peacocks set the town’s nerves on edge with their nightlong screeching, nearly derailing the wedding and setting up a kind of psychological tension that only escalates as the novel progresses.
This is a page-turner in the truest and best sense. Lives careen out of control as a result of one afternoon’s fateful events (again thanks to the damn peacocks), leaving a kind of human wreckage that only the truest forgiveness can heal. I was spellbound both by the plotline and by Napolitano’s ability to weave a real-life character into a work of fiction with such perfect attention to scope and detail. Flannery O’Connor is one tough cookie—an intellectual powerhouse and an unflinching realist. Her character in this novel is compelling on every level. She forces Cookie and Melvin to confront her belief that the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”—Wendee, Queen Anne Books, Seattle