April 26, 2012

The Sausage Maker's Daughters

The Sausage Maker's Daughters
by AGS Johnson
published February 2012
source NetGalley

A murder.   Inability to remember.  A jail cell.  Flashbacks.  Court.  What a novel!

Kip (born Knavere Priestley Czermanski -- no wonder she changed it legally) finds herself in a jail cell.  A man has been murdered, naked, in her bed of all places.  She is found standing next to the bed.  This dead man used to be her college professor-and-lover, and now (gasp) her brother-in-law.   Kip is accused and soon to stand trial.

It is 1972.  Kip is the youngest of four daughters of a prominent business man.   She is the rebellious sister who was often in trouble while growing up.    A  lawyer says to her in her jail cell:  "You clearly represent dissidence, rebellion, the general undermining of all authority -- both the church and state -- of piety.  And let's not forget your feminism--"

Another lawyer comes from California to Wausaukeesha, Wisconsin, to defend Kip. 

This is more than a mystery, more than a courtroom drama,  more than a story of a young woman's life, more than historical fiction of the turbulent years of 1966-72.    All these add up to a great book.

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