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Short Synopsis
A winning new novel from the bestselling author of The Sixteen Pleasures—whose engaging, emotionally true characters could be right at home in the stories of Alice Munro or Bobbie Ann Mason.

Full Synopsis
On the morning of his fortieth birthday, anthropology professor Jackson Jones contemplates his future: Should he go back to Africa, where he did his fieldwork, and live with the Mbuti, or should he marry and settle down in the Midwest, where he now teaches?

On the morning of her release from prison, Sunny, who grew up in a snake-handling church in the Little Egypt region of Southern Illinois, rents a garage apartment from Jackson. She's been serving a five-year sentence for shooting, but not killing, her husband, the pastor of the Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following after he forced her at gunpoint to put her arm in a box of rattlesnakes.

Sunny and Jackson become lovers, but they're pulled in different directions. Sunny, drawn to science and eager to put her snake-handling past behind her, enrolls at the university. Jackson, however, takes a professional interest in the religious ecstasy exhibited by the snake handlers. Push comes to shove in a novel packed with wit, substance, and emotional depth. Snakewoman of Little Egypt delivers Robert Hellenga at the top of his form.

"The serpentine story solidifies into a captivating and original take on the strange ways of redemption." ---Publishers Weekly

"A well-written narrative that is both thoughtful and action-packed. [Hellenga's] appealing protagonists have streaks of darkness that keep us unsettled." ---Chicago Tribune

"A melancholy story, but it is also immensely satisfying and even uplifting in that unique way that only deeply felt life can provide." ---Booklist Starred Review

"Three reasons to love Hellenga: He's a fine storyteller; he gives us new eyes; he restores our sense of wonder. Attention must be paid." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"Marlo's reading is engaging, lively, and true to character." ---AudioFile

"Hellenga mesmerizes with this brainy study of snakes and snake-handling churches, love, independence, and, yes, even the power of timpani drumming. Another flawless performance." ---Library Journal Starred Review
Audie Winner

Kirkus Bestseller

Booklist Review

Kirkus Review

Booklist Bestseller

Library Journal Review

Snakewoman of Little Egypt

A Novel

Author Robert Hellenga

Narrated by Coleen Marlo

Publication date Sep 14, 2010

Running time 11 hrs

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