Polly is just the type of character to bring a falcon on her shoulder to a meeting with her daughter’s school principal. Willow has been lying and the administration is concerned. Polly, determined to show that her daughter’s outrageous stories are true, borrows a falcon to convince the principal that she is, indeed, an experienced falconer.
And there you have it — a fiercely protective mother who loves margaritas and cigarettes, and who truly hates squirrels. But why is Willow so troubled — why is she acting out? First it’s because she knows her mother is dying, losing a battle with the Bear (cancer). But also because her mother is keeping a secret about why she left her hometown in Texas years ago and never returned.
Willow will do anything at all to stave off the Bear — including persuading her mother to return to her hometown and see a faith healer. Full of brilliantly drawn characters and Southern wit, this novel is a great choice for book clubs that love to laugh and dissect the attributes that comprise a loving but quirky family.
The Book of Polly, by Kathy Hepinstall. Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin; ISBN 978-0-39956-209-9; $26.