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Description - Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison

A wonderful full blooded story about how our heroine - an ex rock-chick - pulls her family back together again ten years after she's fled from her violent husband and the mean-spirited small town of her youth. When Delia Byrd packs her car and begins the long trip home from Los Angeles - from the glamour of rock 'n' roll business, her passion for singing and songwriting, and the darker days of whiskey and violence and too much belief in the promises of a man she loved - she heads to Cayro, Georgia and her own unresolved past. Ten years earlier, Delia left the husband who turned on her; abandoned her two daughters, one an infant, and fled to California. But Delia is pulled back to Georgia; to a world of convenience stores and biscuit factories, kudzu and deep-rooted Baptism - to make a deal with the man she paid a high price to leave. She brings her third daughter, Cissy, with her. And as the lives of Delia, Cissy, Amanda, and Dede converge, Delia's past uncoils into the present with a ferocity that brings all four women to terms with themselves and with one another. If you liked CURE FOR DEATH BY LIGHTENING you will love CAVEDWELLER with its cast of characters including gun-toting nymphomaniacs, mad evangelical Christians and lesbian pot holers.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349111056
ISBN-10: 0349111057
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 7-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison

UK Kirkus Review » A huge slab of a paperback which seizes you by the scruff of the neck and pulls you inside its sweaty, claustrophobic world. Set in a small town in America's deep south, it's the story of bad girl Delia Byrd, who left her abusive husband and her two baby daughters to run away with a rock and roll band. Now widowed and middle-aged, Delia returns, hoping to reclaim the offspring she abandoned and pick up the threads of her old identity. She's reckoned without the entrenched prejudice and resentment of the townspeople and the potency of her own tangled memories. A brilliantly observed homecoming novel, intelligent, hugely evocative and very, very readable. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » An increasingly absorbing story of "a family in pieces, pulling itself back together out of one woman's stubborn determination," by the author of the bestselling Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), a National Book Award - finalist. In plain impassioned prose enlivened by superbly salty dialogue, Allison gradually discloses the inner lives and secret histories of four bewildered, determined women who eventually come to understand themselves by grappling with the complicated permutations of their mingled fear, hatred, and love of and for their families, husbands, lovers, and one another. Their story begins when Delia Byrd, a rock-and-roll singer whose partner has died in a motorcycle accident, takes their preadolescent daughter Cissy with her across the country on an impulsive mission to reclaim the two other daughters Delia had abandoned a decade earlier when she fled their abusive father, who had all but killed her. The pair's destination is Cavro, Georgia, a closemouthed backwater where Delia, remembered as "that bitch [who] ran off and left her babies," must painstakingly reconnect with her sin - helping her cancer-stricken husband to die, and submissively biding her time as her girls grow into variously troubled and empowered women. Cissy's older half-sister Amanda is a religious zealot finally softened by her acquaintance with the consolations of "sin." The younger, Dede, works through her "wildness" and anger to the possibility of a loving relationship. And Cissy finds in her obsessive explorations of a nearby cave a passageway "into her dream self" and the strength to seize her future. All comes together with Delia's stunning revelation of the "stolen world" of her childhood - a world that she and hers, through sheer force of will, essentially recover. Allison's breakaway intensity and warm identification with her characters carry this long book triumphantly over its repetitions and overemphases, producing an altogether wonderful second novel and, for its author, a giant step forward. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Dorothy Allison

Author of bestselling BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA.

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