Monroe’s magnificent tale resonates between the daunting and the supernatural. The sequel to The Upper Room, it’s laced with intense characters and piercing, picturesque dialogue. Once again, Monroe displays her gift as a marvel with this sensational novel.
Now that Mama Ruby, Maureen’s overprotective and ruthless mother, is dead, Maureen overcompensates for her missing childhood by spoiling her narcissistic, aspiring model daughter, Loretta. Maureen lacks the vengeful spirit of her mother. She’s so intent on being a good wife and mother, she’s oblivious to the storm brewing in her home until her teenage daughter and husband run away together. Meanwhile, Maureen’s brother, Virgil, is torn between his fear of Mama Ruby’s specter and the weight of lies. The twist is, he’s just as much a pawn as his baby sister. (DAFINA, Jun., 336 pp., $25.00)