The Parlor Girl’s Guide
by Steve McCondichie
Scarlett O’Hara meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
A HARD-EDGED COUNTRY GIRL enlists the living and the dead to guide her past family tragedy and forge her escape from a secluded Southern brothel. After her father’s murder and mother’s abonnement, a merciless landowner forces Molly Lingo to work in a rural Alabama hunting lodge that doubles as an exclusive whorehouse. Molly, the feisty tough teenage daughter of a hand-to-mouth tobacco farmer, employs a mysterious specter and a troubled gambler, “Cotton” Arnold, to assist her in breaking away from the unrelenting grip of the sharecropper culture. Set at the beginning of the Jazz Age’s promising sweep across America, Molly’s story depicts both the shocking brutality of the landlord class and a young woman’s determination not to be treated as a second-class citizen. This energetic historical fiction offers supernatural thrills and the poignant transformation of a metaphysical coming-of-age tale.
A gritty portrayal of a plucky young woman of the Deep South, who is victimized by dark forces beneath the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age.
—John Russo, co-creator of Night of the Living Dead
Part riveting historical novel, part uproarious picaresque, and above all, it’s a damn good read.
—Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories
The Parlor Girl’s Guide is elegantly wrought and paced for action…
—Amos Jasper Wright IV, author of Nobody Knows How It Got This Good
McCondichie is part historian, poet, raconteur, and guiding spirit through a violent, southern dreamscape…any esoteric moments of ‘soft-focus’ are viewed through barn smoke or tears.
—JD Wilkes, author of The Vine That Ate the South
Molly is feisty, resourceful and beautifully flawed. A truly captivating anti-heroine.
—Gisele Firmino, author of The Marble Army
About the Author
After 25 years peddling bulldozers around the globe, Steve McCondichie exited the corporate world to pursue his true purpose: Telling thrilling tales about our meandering journeys through life. A rebel since kindergarten, Steve always gives the underdog anti-hero ample opportunities for redemption. He enjoys examining how family shapes the individual and their choices. The Parlor Girl’s Guide is his second novel. Lying for a Living is his debut novel.
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