The Suburbs of Heaven by Merle Drown

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The agony and the ecstasy of trailer life in rural New Hampshire.

Jim is holding a twelve-gauge shotgun on his sworn enemy. What has made him snap? His beautiful wife, Pauline, spends her spare time dancing naked for his wealthy brother-in-law, who has collected the insurance money for the "accidental" death of his own wife-Jim's sister. Not only is the IRS dunning Jim but the town is about to seize the land his trailer is on for nonpayment of property taxes. His eldest son, Gregory, thinks he has a snake in his head. Tommy, his youngest son, is charged with drug possession and assault on a policeman. Lisa, his daughter, may lose custody of her children for supporting her drug habit by prostitution. And there is a panty thief roaming their small New Hampshire town. But Jim is indomitable. He will survive it all, smiling, so long as he has Pauline's love.

Praise for Merle Drown's first novel, Plowing Up a Snake:

"Compelling reading, the kind of fiction you stay up with half the night." -San Francisco Chronicle


About Merle Drown

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Drown holds a master's degree in creative writing from Goddard College.
Published February 1, 2000 by Soho Press. 320 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Suburbs of Heaven

Kirkus Reviews

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Jim, her father, never able to provide much for his family, muses silently as his wife, Pauline, makes her daily visits to Elizabeth’s grave, and as she finds more fault with him and more favor in the company of neighbor Emory, her impotent brother-in-law, who came into a mother lode of insurance...

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Publishers Weekly

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Jim Hutchins's sister, Helen, died after a fall down the cellar stairs, and Jim and Pauline Hutchins's youngest daughter, Elizabeth, drowned in their neighbors' cow pond.

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Austin Chronicle

Before the promise of on-demand printing, the sheer overabundance of unused books in garage sales, flea markets, homes, dormitories, and the secondhand retail market led me to one cynical conclusion: There are too many people writing.

Mar 31 2000 | Read Full Review of The Suburbs of Heaven

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