Denise's Reviews > She Flew the Coop: A Novel Concerning Life, Death, Sex and Recipes in Limoges, Louisiana

She Flew the Coop by Michael Lee West
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's review
Feb 26, 2008

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bookshelves: bookgroup
Recommended to Denise by: Bookgroup
Read in December, 2004

Sophie, I liked the comparison of Sophie's beaten biscuits and her life – I don't think you read too much in it – I think it was right on. And it was accurate with Burr gone she has become something sweet and better. I'm still a little shaky on what happened to their son it touched on it so lightly that I didn't know exactly what happened that led to his death. Sophie was one of my favorite characters. Especially after Burr died and she started living.

Henry - I think it was more than `mid-life crisis' that had Henry get up and leave his wife and marry Dee Dee. He wanted his cake and eat it too (another silly cliché that I never understood, just like Henry said, what else are you suppose to do with it, frame the cake and hang it on a wall?) He wanted a maid at home to take care of him and the house and a tart on the side to sleep with and make him feel like he was all that. There's no mid-life crisis about it. He was you typical old school male that thought they could do anything they wanted without repercussions. It probably would have been better (or worse depending on who you asked) if he actually married Dee Dee and watched what happened next – they would have made each other miserable – perfect revenge if you ask me.

But he didn't actually leave Vangie until after the daughter died. He kept trying to get her to come back before that. That indicated that it was depression that made him take off to Vegas. He wanted to replace what he lost as soon as possible and that was his opportunity. Eventually he would have been burned regardless if Dee Dee was really pregnant or not. Picture it 5 years later both him and Dee Dee would be cheating on one another. Now at least Billie has a chance to become decent.

Edith – I think she didn't want to move back to New York because there she would be just another artist no different than anyone else. At least in the South she got to be eccentric and stand out. People talked about her and excused her for what they thought were crazy ways. It sounded like she had what everyone hoped for when they started out – the perfect fairy tale romance. Maybe that would have changed if her husband lived longer ;)

Harriet – She was actually fun she reminded me of Harriet Olsen from Little House on the Prairie mean, gossipy and full of herself. Unfortunately she's too blind and dumb to actually realize that she's a miserable old coot so I don't think she will ever see the problems in herself. And she'll believe that she is always happy and perfect.

Dee Dee - She was a product of the time. If she was taught to provide for herself she wouldn't need to chase a man, married or not, to give her what she could have given herself. She was taught that, that was the only option, to find a man to take care of her. She blew it when she found a single man, Renny, so in her mind it would stand to reason that she would have better luck trying to get someone that she knew was a good husband – no matter if it was someone else's husband at least she could fix that. But what I don't understand is why did her aunt let them all stay – why didn't she throw them out instead of putting up with it?

Religion was a character in this book too. Actually it was a villain. Most of them used religion as an excuse. An excuse to snub people or gossip about them, an excuse to write notes instead of telling things to the victims face. An excuse to explain why someone was bad, `those nutty Baptists'. Kirby used it to get everything from food and shelter to sex. Methodists used it as an excuse to explain why they were better than the Baptists, the `Amen Baptists' used it to explain why they were better than the rest of the congregation. Harriet used it to justify all of her disgusting actions. This book is a definite explanation of why there are a lot of people out there that don't like organized religion.
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