Shimmering with rage and sparkling with subtle humor, BILLIE STARR’S BOOK OF SORRIES showcases Edgar Award-nominee Deborah E. Kennedy’s singular voice as Jenny, a heroine in the vein of Olive Kitteridge in Crosby, Maine and Miles Roby in Empire Falls, shines a light on the town of Benson, Indiana, where lakes, grudges, and family rifts run deep – but so does a mother’s love.
BILLY STARR’S BOOK OF SORRIES
by Deborah E. Kennedy
Flatiron/St. Martin’s Press, October 2022
Sometimes, a woman has to rescue herself. Jenny Newberg, Queen of Bad Decisions, is about to make another one. In a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, down-on-her-luck single mother Jenny is on a first-name basis with the debt collector at the bank, who is moving toward foreclosure. She is constantly apologizing to her precocious young daughter, Billie Starr, who is filling a book with her mother’s sorries, and it seems to Jenny that no apology will ever be enough.
Then a pair of strangers in black suits offers her a hefty check to seduce someone known as the Candidate. Finally, something will go her way.
But nothing ever goes as Jenny plans, and she is swept into the Candidate’s orbit. Surrounded by a wide universe of new ideas, she realizes how constrained her life has been by the expectations of everyone around her, and she starts to see how much more she might be capable of. And when her world is rocked to its core and Billie Starr may be in danger, Jenny is forced to do what she once thought impossible: trust in herself and her own power to make things right.
Deborah E. Kennedy is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of Tornado Weather, which was an Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Kennedy has worked as both a reporter and editor, and also holds a Master’s in Fiction Writing and English Literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.