Lemon City by Elaine Meryl Brown
A Novel (Strivers Row)

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Synopsis

In this wry fiction debut, Elaine Meryl Brown plunges lucky readers into a gripping narrative of small-town hijinks and big-time hearts.

Rule Number One: Never marry an Outsider. If you do, the boll weevil will bite you back. Rule Number Two: If you can’t be honest, you might as well be dead.

Nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains, Lemon City has ten rules, all designed in the best interests of its tight-knit black community. Granddaddy Dunlap knows all too well what can happen to folks who venture beyond Lemon City’s protective borders. He once had to venture outside town to identify his best friend’s body. So when his firebrand granddaughter Faye, returns from college married to an Outsider, he must act fast to keep her in Lemon City’s safe embrace.

It proves to be a challenge–and not just because the patriarch is distracted by the tensions arising from the heated tomato-growing contest for the annual county fair. Faye’s new husband, Harry, is a slick talker with a roving eye. Faye sees him as her ticket to New York City, where she hopes to fulfill big business dreams, but even the best-laid plans can be thwarted, as Faye discovers that marriage itself isn’t much of a honeymoon. No matter. She packs her bags, fully prepared to head north with or without her husband, when Harry turns up dead. Now the Dunlap family is trying to figure out–before the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold–who did the deed.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Elaine Meryl Brown

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Elaine Meryl Brown is vice president, special markets and Cinemax Group, at HBO. Prior to joining HBO, she was a creative director at Showtime Networks. An Emmy Award-winning writer and the author of the novels Lemon City and Playing by the Rules, she is currently writing a young adult fiction series. She lives in New Jersey. Marsha Haygood is the president and founder of StepWise Associates, LLC, a career and personal development consultancy. She was formerly the executive vice president of human resources and administration at New Line Cinema and Orion Pictures. She lives in New York and Florida. Rhonda Joy McLean is deputy general counsel of Time Inc. and the former assistant regional director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission. She has worked as a corporate litigator in a major New York law firm and taught administrative law at the City University of New York. She lives in New York City.
 
Published February 18, 2009 by One World/Ballantine. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lemon City

Kirkus Reviews

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Heartbroken but liberated, Faye screws up the courage to leave Harry and head north on her own, but then comes home to find the louse dead on the floor, a victim of poisoning.

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Publishers Weekly

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("As Faye stared at the turkey, it reminded her of the last time she saw Harry, flat on his back on their living room floor with his stomach distended and a tomato lodged in his mouth.") The year before, Faye broke Lemon City's "Outsider Rule" by wedding Harry, a dubious character with "few roots...

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