Kristi's Reviews > Snakewoman of Little Egypt

Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga
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Dec 09, 10

Read from October 12 to November 15, 2010

I had high hopes for this book after receiving it through a First Reads giveaway. How exciting a book must be with elements such as prison, snake handling, Mbuti natives, and higher education. How quickly my hopes were dashed.

Snake Woman of Little Egypt is about Sunny and Jackson, two people who have left their pasts behind. Sunny is a naïve woman who has just been released from a 5-year stint in the big house after shooting her husband Earl, said shooting occurring because minister Earl forced her to put her hand in a box o' snakes. Jackson, an anthropology professor with Lyme disease, has recently returned from the African wilderness where he left behind a wife and child. Before you can say “black mamba,” the lonely two are living together in Jackson’s house. This despite the fact that Claire, Jackson’s married ex, still has intense hots for him.

The plot deals mainly with the conflict that arises when Sunny’s husband slithers his way back into her life. Jackson is overly taken with Earl’s snake-lovin’ church, The Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following, supposedly from an anthropologist’s viewpoint. Meanwhile, Sunny is in college studying French and biology, wanting to erase that creepy, fundamentalist part of her life.

I wanted to like this book, really I did, but after each reading session, more and more time would pass before I would pick it up again. The plot was poorly contrived, and I could muster no feeling for the characters. I did slog through to the end in the futile hope that the book would magically become a little bit interesting. Sadly, that didn’t happen; therefore, I cannot recommend Snake Woman of Little Egypt.
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message 1: by Joanie (last edited Feb 26, 2012 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joanie Yes! I agree. I found it irritating that the every- day things happened so easily for Sunny: Upon leaving jail and with not too much effort on her part, she lands in a dream house with an interesting man who floats her boat; has enough money to invest, buy great clothes, and attend a private college; finds herself needing to choose between a romantic trip to Paris with her lover and a cool conference in Mexico with a different romantic interest; becomes BFF's with her creative writing professor, despite said professor's lingering interest in Sunny's lover...

It's the every-day that challenges us. Removing comflict from that aspect in order to forward a plot line that is more interesting to the writer takes the truth out of the fiction.


Kristi You are right on the money, Joanie! I didn't even consider that when reading it, but it's so true.


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