Thursday, May 7, 2009

Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton

I do like the occasional darkly themed book (see the previous two postings), so afterwards I need to read something shiny and sweet as an antidote. Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton is just such a book. Mattie Riggsbee, an elderly Southerner, lives alone and craves connection with others. Enter one Wesley Benfield, juvenile delinquent with promise. The two form a friendship, largely based on Mattie's terrific cooking. Her food nourishes Wesley's (and the reader's) heart and soul--the pound cake description will leave you drooling and reaching for your Bundt pan. Edgerton weaves Southern humor and charm throughout this small town tale. Reading this book, I felt transported back to my grandmother's house--I could almost taste the okra. My grandmother is long gone, but Walking Across Egypt resurrected memories of sitting at her table. I can't ask any more from a book than that.

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