I discovered Liza Palmer's piquant novel Nowhere But Home thanks to Angie, who described it as,
"Recommended for fans of Friday Night Lights, comfort food, and top-notch storytelling."
As readers of this blog know, those are effectively my three favorite things, so, of course, I dropped everything else and picked up a copy of Nowhere But Home (which, incidentally, name-checks FNL on the back cover). Needless to say, this warm, funny and emotionally authentic story about a chef who finds herself begrudgingly back in her hometown not only met those expectations, it's most certainly destined to be one of my favorite reads of 2013.
Queen (Queenie) Elizabeth Wake's mother, the late B.J. Wake, gave her a big name so she could escape the Wake family destiny: that of serving the role of resident lowlife of the Hill Country town of North Star, Texas.
Queenie's sister, Merry Carole, followed in their mother's footsteps, having a scandalous teenage relationship with the town's golden boy football player and their son now is--quite controversially--the rising star quarterback on the North Star football team. Queenie, however, got out of North Star, first thanks to college in Austin, and then thanks to a series of chef jobs all over the United States. Yet once again, she's been fired--this time from a New York CIty hotel restaurant because she refused the ketchup a customer requested (I'm right there with you, Queenie). Out of options and with nowhere left to go, Queenie returns home to North Star.
The red light blinks. Welcoming me home. What's the exact opposite of blaze of glory? I look around my dusty Subaru, cut-off jeans, and think: me. This. This is what the exact opposite of a blaze of glory looks like.