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Luce Lemay, fresh out of prison and ready to repent, can't catch a break in his old hometown. He returns from the pen to find that no one can seem to forget the tragic accident that left an infant dead and led to his incarceration. The girl he loves won't go near an ex-con, the only job he can get is pumping gas, and his days in jail haunt him in the form of an old nemesis who won't be satisfied until Luce's blood runs red and hot through his murderous fingers.
When a lovely waitress named Charlene finally begins to respond to Luce's diligent romantic overtures, he finally thinks he's been redeemed. But his happiness is short-lived. No one in town -- especially not Charlene's father -- approves of their relationship. To make matters worse, Charlene has an ex-fiance named Earl Peet who's none too pleased about her taking up with the convict son of a hog farmer. Earl shows his disapproval in typical thug fashion, but even after a couple of beatings, Luce just can't seem to stay away from sweet Charlene. His tenacity finally pushes Earl -- and the rest of the town -- to take shocking action. In a violent climax, Luce finds out just how far small-minded people are willing to go to protect narrow worldview.
In "How the Hula Girl Sings, Meno describes the ugly, unforgiving underbelly of the American dream with a voice as raw and visceral as adesperate cry for help in some godforsaken back alley. By turns achingly tragic and wholeheartedly hopeful, "How the Hula Girl Sings plumbs the depths of the schizophrenic American psyche and forces us all to confront the harsh realities and sublime potential of the human heart.
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