Deep in the Shade of Paradise
A favorite novel by “a generous and lyric storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) known for his tragicomic voice and unforgettable characters.
Welcome to Shiver-de-Freeze, a boot-shaped precinct deep in the Louisiana swamp, famous for its healing waters and curious fauna. Grisham Loudermilk is marrying Ariane Thevenot at Paradise, the family’s ancestral home, and we're here for the wedding. But reason and love, it would seem, keep little company in Paradise these days: Grisham’s cousin Adlai Birdsong has fallen desperately in love with the bride-to-be. Adlai’s ill-advised courtship proceeds even as his daddy, Royce, struggles to recall his past in the face of Alzheimer’s; as Father Pat McDermott realizes his passion for the mother of the bride; as the conjoined twins, Tous-les-Deux, train their eyes on Boudou Fontana, the last of the star-crossed Fontana clan. And just when it seems that Adlai must resign himself to a prolonged season of bachelorhood, Miranda Ferry, Grisham’s recent lover, wanders into town unawares. With his signature tragic-comic voice and cast of unforgettable and lively characters, Dufresne explores love, death, imagination, and memory.
Publisher’s Weekly: "Imagining John Irving, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor or Max Shulman (or all of the above at once) on peyote juice only begins to evoke the dimension and energy of the seriocomic fantasies of Dufresne at his freewheeling, frenetic best. In his latest, a sequel (of sorts) to his 1994 debut novel Louisiana Power & Light, this talented writer creates rambunctious fun tinged with melancholy as he revisits the oddball and grotesque characters and exotic trailer park and plantation landscapes of the Louisiana bayous and byways... Memory, fidelity and destiny are paramount themes as Dufresne sheds warm light on the caprices of the heart and mind. The all-out quirkiness of Dufresne's sparkling second novel may put some readers off, but others will surely think this talented writer's time has come."
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