Ethyl Mae Coco’s rambling Victorian home on North Gladiola—the Main Street of Tula Springs, Louisiana—is the only residence left at the business end of town, but it’s a hotbed for chaotic comedy. Mrs. Coco, aged fifty-seven and feeling somewhat left behind herself, directs her considerable energy into keeping those around her in line—her remote, obsessively bargain-hunting husband; members of the Pro Arts Quartet chamber music group, which Ethyl Mae aspires to turn into an accomplished cultural jewel; her six unruly grown children, none of whom keeps the Catholic faith to their staunch convert mother’s satisfaction; and the other assorted, eccentric, and endearing people of Tula Springs. Nothing is simple—or quite as gossip portrays it—in Tula Springs, but after all upheavals and sunders pass, this wired family and community remain strongly connected.
James Wilcox is the author of eight novels, including North Gladiola, Miss Undine's Living Room, Guest of a Sinner, and, most recently, Heavenly Days. He is Robert Penn Warren Professor and director of creative writing at Louisiana State University and lives in Baton Rouge.
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