For fans of Cathie Pelletier, here we return to the boisterous, tacky and opportunistic residents of Mattagash, Maine, in a tale as lively as Pelletier's previous one about that hapless riverside hamlet (The Funeral Makers).
The Sixties have arrived and Amy Joy Lawler (descendant of their small town's Protestant founder) plans an unlikely and controversial miniskirted wedding to a Catholic with unacceptable French Canadian origins. Meanwhile, her upscale Portland relations, the Ivys, have troubles: their funeral home lacks clients, a Liz Taylor lookalike pursues their married son and heir, and to witness Amy Joy's nuptials they must stay at Albert Pinkham's motel, scene of past humiliations. Nearby, the Snopes-like Giffords feud over events at Penny's post-Christmas sale while hoping to enhance their stock of hubcaps at the wedding reception parking lot. When these folks get together, the resulting mix of zany comedy, pathos, and sense of place makes worthwhile reading.