Penelope Lemon is a recent divorcée, closet Metallica fan, and accidental subversive to all the expectations of suburban motherhood. After ending her marriage with James, a woodsy intellectual who favors silky kimonos too short for his knobby knees, Penelope finds herself, at forty, living with her randy mother in her childhood home. Broke and desperate for work, she waitresses at Coonskins, a frontier-themed restaurant where the decor is heavy on stuffed mammals and discarded peanut shells.
Despite the pitfalls of balancing parental duties, jobs, and the vagaries of middle-age life, Penelope pushes through one obstacle after another, trying to regain her independence. Whether fumbling through the world of online dating; coping with a bullying situation involving her son, Theo, something of a gastric wonder on the school bus; or wrestling with the discovery of nude photos from her carefree college days that are not quite as “artistic” as she remembers, Penelope gradually emerges as a modern-day heroine who navigates the assorted inanities of life with verve and humor.
Audacious and laugh-out-loud funny, Inman Majors’s new novel holds up a fun-house mirror to the relatable challenges of being a single parent in the digital age. All those who live by the beat of their own drum gain a coconspirator, an accomplice, and a champion in the unstoppable Penelope Lemon.