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On a lazy June morning in Mooney -- a wooded patch of sparsely populated northeast Texas -- a shiny red Chrysler sedan pulls up to the home of Lucy Hatch and her live-in beau Ash Farrell, depositing a teenage girl on their doorstep before speeding away. For Ash, town carpenter and musician, the unheralded arrival of his daughter, Denise -- whom he hasn't seen in nearly eight years -- is a major life-altering shock. It's a surprise for Lucy as well, since she's had little reason till now to recall the fourteen-year-old's existence. And the unanticipated intrusion is certain to further complicate Lucy's increasingly complex relationship with Ash, now that she has discovered she is pregnant with his child.
Angry, rebellious, and uncertain -- having been unceremoniously dumped by her mother on the father she barely knows and the stranger who now shares his life -- Denny must somehow find a place where she belongs in a town far tinier than any that has imprisoned her before. But it's not until she picks up Ash's guitar -- and hears the songs that were born in her father's heart -- that Denny and Ash are drawn closer together by the common bond of music. In its haunting strains and true emotions lies hope -- that Denny can finally settle down, that she and Lucy can build a real friendship, that all of them can become, at last, that most rare and precious thing: a family.
But anything that happens in a place as small as Mooney hasrepercussions for every one of its residents. And when an ugly incident divides the community -- raising specters of suspicion, hatred, and intolerance -- the members of the growing Farrell-Hatch household will be deeply affected as well.
From its rollicking dance halls to its tree-shaded front porches, the world Marsha Moyer creates in The Last of the Honky-tonk Angels draws us inexorably in and makes us feel right at home. A glorious novel of love, family, and forgiveness, it is at once funny and poignant, startling and uplifting, richly imbued with the author's luminous prose and a vitality that reminds us all of how good it is to be alive.
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