This rollicking tale of a woman wronged begins with the heroine, Francine Harper in jail for attempted murder of her handsome, no-good, two-timing musician husband Dwayne and his silicone-enhanced stripper girlfriend Carla. (Digression â€“ how do you describe a musician who has broken up with his girlfriend? Unemployed… and homeless!) Discovering them in bed together, very obviously having done the horizontal mambo â€“ in very bed with the headboard that Francineâ€™s daddy built and gave them as a wedding present – of course Francine looses it and blasts away. Typically for Francine, she misses clean. Then she canâ€™t quite understand why â€“ since she missed them both and was very sorry afterwards â€“ why she should be in jail anyway!
Considering the rest of her friends and family, and the series of events that led up to her marrying Dwayne and having an alligator crash her wedding reception â€“ perhaps Francine should have taken that chance to catch her breath and let things simmer down to a dull roarâ€¦ but no. She is let go with a monitoring device on her ankle determined to assuage her hurt feelings by divorcing Dwayneâ€¦ and with the help of her best friend Ray Ann Pickles to pay him and Carla back. (Getting back her dignity and self-respect and loosing some weight off her hips would be nice, too.)And then the movie people come to townâ€¦ and so does organized crimeâ€¦ and there is a dashing, good-looking new man in her lifeâ€¦ and on top of all that, Dwayne disappears, leaving Francine at the top of the list of suspects wishing her soon-to-be ex-husband ill. It doesnâ€™t help that she and Ray Ann have also managed to assault a pair of FBI agents â€“ but they had a good reason for that.
The various characters, especially Francineâ€™s feisty and possibly insane grandmother, Nanny Lou, her long-suffering but capable lawyer, Mr. Hicks ( Francine found his name on her jailhouse cell wall, written in Revlon Cherry-Berry lip balm) are done with a brio that never quite topples over into parody. The very local setting of Pickville Springs, Georgia is limned with affection. Yes, small towns in flyover country are like this. â€œDivorcing Dwayeâ€ is a funny and well-plotted fairy-tale of a read, rather like what you would get by crossing â€œBridget Jonesâ€™s Diaryâ€ with Florence Kingâ€™s â€œConfessions of a Failed Southern Ladyâ€.
Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book â€œTo Truckeeâ€™s Trailâ€ is available here. Her next work, the Adelsverein Trilogy will be available in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.