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Eating the Chesire Cat
by Helen Ellis

video by Anne Misawa
 

Eating the Chesire Cat is a stunning debut from a young writer whose expert literary craftsmanship rivals that of the most seasoned novelists. With humor both clever and macabre, Helen Ellis lures us into a world of perfectly planned parties and steep social ladders. Soon, traditional rites of passage take unpredictable and horrifying turns as three girls and their overbearing mothers collide.
Sarina Summer's mother believes that physical perfection is worth suffering for-- a lesson she faithfully teaches her daughter in the astonishing opening scene. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, beauty is as beauty does, with axes and knives and in-your-face backstabbing. Ruthless and vindictive, Sarina will stop at nothing to have it all.
Lurking in Sarina's shadow is Nicole Hicks, Sarina's devoted friend with only a fragile grasp on reality, whose repeated blunders undermine Mrs. Hick's ambitious goals. As Nicole's self-destructive obsession with Sarina worsens, Bitty Jack Carlson is caught in the crossfire. A nice girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Bitty Jack fights to prove that she can succeed outside the confines of this outrageous, yeat eerily familiar southern community.
From summer camp to the University of Alabama's race for the homecoming queen's throne, Southern stereotypes are challenged and wrestled to the ground. It's survival of the fitest. But which girl will come out on top? readers will be guessing until the bitter end in this fast-paced and unforgettable first novel.

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