Caney Paxgon wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma--the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave the wheel chair bound, Vietnam vet, Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state.
Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead, the joke is old, and the sign is as worn a Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. The regulars at the Honk, still gabbing and crabbing over hot java and eggs easy, haven't changed much either.
Then one day a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a half-dead three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind. Hiring her as a carhop, the first in many years, Vera Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's heart...as she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love and the possibility of promise---just like the sign says.
"It serves up laughs and tears while reminding the reader that it is never too late to find what you always wanted."
---San Antonio Express News
A very good book, with memorable characters that you come to care about. I had the definite feeling that I knew these people, because each one reminded me closely of someone from my past or present. Highly recommended!
I really enjoyed this book. The Honk and Holler Opening Soon is a little cafe owned by Caney, a Nam vet who fell out of a helicopter and broke his back. He is now in a wheelchair. Molly O is his waitress who also raised him when he was a child. A woman named Vena shows up one day to ask for a job. Before long, Caney and Vena fall in love. Molly O is destined to fall in love too. Molly O's daughter Brenda is 17 and has run away to make it big as a country singer. She comes backs now and then to reek havoc on her mother's life. Bui is a Vietnamese man who can hardly speak any English that is good at fixing things. He gets a job at the Honk, but all he does is burn toast. I really like the way Ms. Letts entwines all of her characters' lives and how everything works out for the better at the end of the book. If you liked her first book, you will definitely like this one.
The "Honk," as it is lovingly called by its paraplegic owner and eccentric customers, is fictitious. It is patronized by a mix of characters the figment of Billie Letts' imagination. However, as I read, I felt like I was sitting at the counter sipping coffee with them. Perhaps that is because "The Blue Bird," "The Sweet Basil," "The Blue Rose," and "Mohr's" are real places I have been. There is a little of "The Honk" in each of these and other such places across America.
I felt welcomed there and part of the lives of each person: I struggled with Bui to become accepted; I felt Molly O's longing for her daughter; understood Vena's search for the meaning of her life; and somtimes, I'm as seemingly crazy as Big Fib. I was welcomed. I felt at home. You will,also. Just visit the "Honk and Holler Opening Soon" and see.
Cliched and predictable, nonetheless The Honk is perfect summer reading; plenty of "oh, my, what's going to happen?" and delightfully oddball characters. It's a classic feel good story; a few tears, plenty of chuckles, and certainly worth a quick read.
I loved this book. It was sweet and kind - gentle in a way it's not always easy to find these days. Billie Letts also wrote the book about the girl who lived in a Walmart (Where the Heart Is). Her style is consistent between the two books.
I enjoy the flow of Billie Letts's writing. She doesn't fill in every blank space with the minutia; "scenes" go from one to another without the tedium of every last word of dialogue showing you how they got there. This book, like her others; is a little "chick-litty"; but not so much that every little thing is tied with a neat, pretty, pink bow by the end. We are left with semi-closure; characters that are on the way, just not there yet.
Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma - the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state.
Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead, the joke is old, and the sign is as worn as Chaney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. The regulars at the Honk, still gabbing and crabbing over hot java and eggs easy, haven't changed much either. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a half-dead three-legged dog in her amrs and a long-buried secret on her mind. Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up bisiness, the locals, and Caney's heart...as she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possiblility of promise - just like the sign says.
If you are thinking about reading this book, do it!
It took me a few pages to get involved, but once I had I was hooked.
Billie Letts' characters are so lifelike! You want to know them, hug them. You will want to sit and have a cup of coffee and a slice of pie at the Honk and Holler Opening Soon.
I reccomend this book with my whole heart.
I just finished reading this wonderful book and now I'm so disappointed that it has finished! Billie Letts has a firm, terrific way with her characters. No BS - these are real, breathing people here; charmingly portrayed and skillfully plotted for a wonderful story! Please Billie - more - more - more!
caney paston wanted his cafe to have the biggest, brightest sign in eastern OK-- the opening soon part was supposed to be just a removable painted notice. but a fateful misunderstanding gave vietnam vet caney the flashiest pole in the entire state.. 12 years later, the once-busy highwy is dead, the joke is old and the sign is as worn as caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. then along comes a 30ish CRow woman with a half-dead 3 legged dog. she teaches the town generosity, love and the possibility of promise.
Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma - the "opening soon" part was suppose to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state.
Kate R. reviewed The Honk and Holler Opening Soon on
Wow, what a great book! I read it for book club and I never would have picked it up on my own but it was wonderful. I fell in love with the characters deeply enough that when everything hit the fan towards the end I was glued to the pages to find out how it would end!
This book centers around a group "regulars" at a worn down roadside cafe. There is a short Q & A with the author, book club discussion questions and a short funny essay on writing at the end of the book.
I love Letts characters! Where the Heart Is is one of my favorite books. (The movie is great too, but the book is so much better.) She has the ability to create these people who are so real and who I wish were in my life. I poured through this book in one sitting, staying up until almost 4 AM so I could finish. She overlaps the lives of four main characters, showing their heartbreak and hopes as they navigate through life. All of them are broken in some way, but even in the darkness, they still are able to grab on to something and keep going. The supporting cast is at times hilarious and heartbreaking. I loved the themes and the ending. I'm not usually one for a pretty ending tied up with a nice bow, and that's not exactly what Letts does here, but it is satisfying and I feel like everything's going to be all right down at the Honk and Holler. This is one of those books where the characters are going to live inside my head for a long time and I'm going to wonder what's happening to them now.
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. Good read!
Billie Letts' novel "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon" is a lovely story filled with off-the-wall characters. They are so unusual, I don't know if they are a fantasy or if the author has just had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people in her life. But even if the characters are a bit exaggerated, the story is still endearing with a satisfying love story. Sorry I can't repost this book, it's a keeper for my personal bookshelf.
Nice story with rich characters. Small town setting where everyone knows everyones business. New characters enter and change the direction of life for all. Good summer read from the author of "Where the Heart Is". One of my all time favorites! Susan
Kim M. - , reviewed The Honk and Holler Opening Soon on
Loved this book! If you're old enough to remember "Alice" and Mel's Diner, it gave me the feeling of being there and part of their family. All of the characters quirks make them that much more loveable and real. Highly recommended!
Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma---the "opening soon" was suppose to be just a removable notice. But fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the state.
Twelve years later the once busy highway is dead. Hiring on as a carhop Crow woman Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals and Caney's heart, as she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love and promise.