In a world of perfectly planned parties and steep social ladders, traditional rites of passage take unexpected turns when three girls and their overbearing mothers collide. In the astonishing opening scene, Sarina Summers's mom smashes her daughter's hands so a doctor will be forced to fix Sarina's one imperfection - crooked pinkie fingers. As Sarina and her mom pursue Sarina's impeccable image, Nicole Hicks's self-destructive obsession with Sarina thwarts her own mother's plans. Meanwhile, an unwilling participant in the Hicks vs. Summers feud fights to prove that a girl can succeed outside the confines of this outrageous, yet eerily familiar social order. 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 fittest. But which girl will come out on top? Helen Ellis keeps her readers guessing until the bitter end in this wickedly clever, superbly crafted novel.
Helen Ellis was raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and holds a degree in fiction writing from New York University. Her stories have been published in SOUTHERN EXPOSIRE and the NEW YORK PRESS. She lives in New York City.