The Book of Polly (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The Book of Polly is narrated by Willow, the 10-year-old miracle daughter of Polly. Polly-- in her late 50s when Willow is born-- loves smoking cigarettes, margaritas, and shooting at squirrels in her yard. This delightful book is set in small-town Texas and centers around Willow's intense desire to know more about her aged mom, family, and outrun The Bear-- a disease that's coming for Polly. Polly is as sharp, sarcastic, and full of heart as you'd expect from a great Southern heroine. At turns wacky and touching, this book is perfect for fans of Fannie Flagg. (also highly recommended by John and Sally!)

— Sam


"Delightful. . . funny and poignant." --People

With a kick like the best hot sauce, this is the laugh-out-loud story of a girl determined to keep up with her aging, crazy-as-a-fox mother

"If you ever pined for a mother who would take a hunting falcon as her wingman to a parent-teacher conference, Polly is the gal for you. Delicious." --Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama

Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to chase varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors--and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It's just her and bigger-than-life Polly.

Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly's life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?

The Book of Polly has a great blend of humor and sadness, pathos and hilarity. This is a bittersweet novel about the grip of love in a truly quirky family and you'll come to know one of the most unforgettable mother-daughter duos you've ever met.

About the Author

Kathy Hepinstall grew up in Spring, Texas, near the Louisiana border. Polly is based, in part, on Kathy's own mother, who has as wicked a tongue as her fictional counterpart. Kathy now lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780399562099
ISBN-10: 0399562095
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English