Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



Jackson Jones is trying to decide whether to remain an anthropology professor in his small Midwestern town, or to return to doing fieldwork among the Mbuti people, in their African Garden of Eden. His ruminations are interrupted by the arrival of a late friend's niece, who has just been sprung from jail. Sunny admits that she shot her husband, an evangelical pastor from the Little Egypt region of Illinois, but he had it coming after forcing her to take on a rattle snake. As an anthropologist, Jackson is curious about Sunny's experiences with The Church of the Burning Bush; as a man, he is not immune to her backwoods sassiness. Although Sunny is pleased to be with a kind partner at last, she is also serious about her belated education--funded by her late uncle--at Jackson's university. French and herpetology compete for her attention, and Jackson's plan to take her to Paris to propose marriage are waylaid when she decides to travel to an academic conference with her biology professor instead. Jackson is crushed and heads for Little Egypt in Sunny's absence, to get to know her ex-husband and to study the snake-handling ceremonies at his evangelical church. Complications ensue, including Jackson's near-death experience and Sunny's murder of her ex, but fate is a positive force for all in the end. Packed with both information and emotion, Snakewoman of Little Egypt delivers Robert Hellenga at the top of his form.

About Robert Hellenga

See more books from this Author
Robert Hellenga teaches at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, six Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowships, an Illinois Arts Council Literacy Award, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.
Published September 20, 2010 by Walker Books. 350 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Snakewoman of Little Egypt

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

As Sunny gobbles up her courses like a kid in a candy store, Jackson travels to Little Egypt to pursue “salvage anthropology” and observe the charismatic Earl at work.

| Read Full Review of Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A...

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

She is living in a new town, enjoying a new dig (Jackson's garage), and calling herself a new name (Sunny).

May 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A...

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

She’s already shot her abusive, charismatic minister husband once—he survived, and she did time—but Jackson’s growing professional and personal interest in Sunny’s past pulls the three together even as she attempts to escape into the academic world.

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A...


Jackson carries on with the daily business of being an academic as Sunny struggles to turn her life around, enroll in the school where Jones teaches, get to know her professors and distance herself from her ex-husband Earl.

Jan 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A...

Chicago Tribune

Suffice it to say that Jackson and Sunny find fulfillment in ways that are unexpected but emotionally appropriate, and that readers will once again find great pleasure in Hellenga's intelligent, generous-hearted work.

Sep 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A...

Reader Rating for Snakewoman of Little Egypt

An aggregated and normalized score based on 25 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review