A Novel
  • Also available as: E-Book
  • Published: April 2018
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 702
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781532042744
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After a ten-year absence, Ed Bach, author of the controversial collection of short stories, So Long, Charlie, delivers his latest and most complex novel to date, Joleen. Bach’s latest work is an unsentimental look at two people struggling to make sense of the world, the beautiful but mentally unbalanced, Joleen Simmons and her clinging, colorless husband, Hush Simmons. Entering high school, Joleen becomes an immediate sensation. She is sweet, charming and very beautiful. But that sweet high school introduction abruptly ends when a lurid side of Joleen reveals itself and she is abruptly snubbed by her many friends. In college, Joleen joins a well-respected theatrical group where her natural gifts bring immediate success. She quickly maneuvers to the top only to blow it when she is given the lead in the school’s featured play and is laughed from the stage. Rejected, she takes a job she hates. She becomes restless and marries a man she will soon regret. She torments her daughter yet confides in a sister who continually betrays her. She bullies her mother yet adores a womanizing, drunken father. She performs whorishly in bed with a husband she refuses to kiss. Reminiscent of April Wheeler in Richard Yates’, Revolutionary Road, Joleen Simmons is a woman thrust into a life she neither wants nor accepts. No one can say for certain if Joleen is a complete nut case, mentally unbalanced, crazy, or simply someone so broken by the events of her past that she unashamedly torments and manipulates her way through life. And what of Hush Simmons, the fawning high school friend Joleen marries, divorces, then quickly lures back into bed? Is it her natural beauty that drives him to the limits of his own sanity? Her superior upbringing? Her family’s wealth? Or is it Joleen’s raunchy behavior that steals his personal identity and turns him into a man he no longer recognizes, someone so corrupted by his wife’s physical aggression that he loses sight of who he is and what he has become, a murderer? From the author of So Long, Charlie, Bach delivers an existential examination into the lives of two people at war with each other and themselves, a couple so riddled with childhood memories that their present actions only serve to drive them further and further apart. Bach offers no answers to life’s greater mysteries. Instead he brings to mind questions the reader may wonder about for years. While the story and its many characters are fictionalized, the story’s central plot, is real.

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