2007-04-05 / News

Book Review

Little Bitty Lies By MARY KAY ANDREWS

May Kay Andrews is the pseudonym of Atlantabased author Kathy Trocheck, primarily known for her Callahan Garrity series.

Trochek earned a degree in newspaper journalism from the Univer- sity of Georgia and later spent 11 years as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As an awardwinning journalist, she reported on the Savannah trial made famous in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 1991, she left journalism to write fiction full-time.

Readers may remember Savannah Blues, written as Mary Kay Andrews, in which the protagonist is an antique-picker in Savannah. This novel, replete with Southern charm, primed readers for another lighthearted romp with Little Bitty Lies.

In this novel the protagonist is Mary Bliss McGowan, an affluent Atlanta suburban housewife and schoolteacher. While divorce seems epidemic in her social circle, Mary Bliss doesn't have a clue that her own marriage is in trouble until one summer night when she finds a note from her husband telling her that he has left.

Not only is he gone, but he has also cleaned out everything they have, leaving her with a teenage daughter and a pile of debt. Looking for a way to pay her daughter's private school tuition, buy groceries, and pay the electric bill, she takes a job as a product-demonstration hostess, but her salary doesn't come close to meeting their minimum needs.

In a moment of weakness, she allows her good friend Katherine to talk her into a zany plan to fake her husband's death so she can collect the insurance. This leads to a chain of "not-so-little-bitty lies," as events snowball out of their control.

Even as Mary Bliss contemplates a possible future in prison, the tone remains light and humorous, and the reader knows that the author will spare the heroine in the end.

Mary Kay Andrews provides the adventure, revenge, and even new romance. Yet, while largely a humorous spoof, Little Bitty Lies is also about the larger issues of marriage and betrayal, mothers and daughters, friendship and loyalty, and, as such, it speaks to a lot of us, especially those of us who are Southern. It even has a great recipe for chicken salad!

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