RED'S HOT HONKY-TONK BAR
Morsi's latest is an unsentimental but compassionate peek into the life and psyche of a fiercely independent yet
vulnerable woman. The combination
of timely subject matter, humor and powerful emotion make it a winner from the first page.
An unexpected phone call from her daughter Bridge brings about big change for bar owner Red Cullens. Bridge is deployed in Afghanistan, and her former mother-in-law's stroke has left her children, Olivia and Daniel, without a caregiver. Their father's also a military man -- and terribly irresponsible. Which means Red, who's ill prepared for grandmotherhood, gets the kids until Christmas. The children aren't any more thrilled with the idea than Red is, until her boyfriend, musician Cam Early, comes to the rescue. He charms the children, lends Red his house and insists on standing by her, no matter what. Can Cam really be more than the boy-toy Red thinks he is? She can't let herself believe it, or get too attached, because experience has taught her that happiness is always fleeting. (MIRA, Jul., 368 pp., $13.95)