Mark Childress (1993)
The most fun I’ve had reading all year. The steamy summer of 1965, Alabama, Hollywood and all points in between. When orphaned Peejoe goes to live with his grandmother, he thinks he’s got her all to himself until his star-crazed Aunt Lucille arrives, announces that she’s off to Tinsletown to become a famous movie star and dumps her screaming brood on her mother’s doorstep. Her husband can’t stand in her way anymore, since he and his head have parted company.
A hilarious and sensitive story of a family on the brink of greatness and insanity, this tale is told from two very entertaining points of view: a boy whose coming of age amidst the racial tensions of the South during the ’60s lands him on the cover of Life magazine, and a one-woman Thelma and Louise who literally leaves a trail of men across the country as she strikes out West to pursue her dream.