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 the other, 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 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 co-conspirator, an accomplice, and a champion in the unstoppable Penelope Lemon.
"A laugh-out-loud funny tale of misfortune and female friendship. Majors's latest is a riot from beginning to end." — Booklist
"A light and lively send-up of modern woes." — Kirkus Reviews
“Majors’ mixture of “sinners and saints” in his make-believe town of Hillsboro is a laugh-out-loud read”.--Memphis Commercial Appeal
“It’s a short novel, saucy and profane and funny on every page”--Nashville Scene
"(Majors) broad sense of humor…and willingness to put his characters through rough patches, that are both absurd and hilarious, makes the book a diverting page-turner.”--Memphis Flyer
“…a comical set-piece that could have come from a superior episode of Designing Women.”--Memphis Flyer
“Penelope Lemon is a high-spirited character who will keep you laughing”--Read it Forward
"Don't plan on getting anything done once you pick up the funniest book of 2018." — CharlotteLit
“Inman Majors is a sparklingly funny, immensely charming writer. PENELOPE LEMON gives us a hapless, scrappy, lovable heroine to root for and a whole cast of great characters.” — Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man and The Last Cruise.
“If Penelope Lemon wasn’t taken, I’d be dating her myself. As hilarious as she is tough, Penelope is a heroine you can’t help rooting for. She also happens to be a fiercely loving mom with a giant heart. Once again, Inman Majors delivers a wildly entertaining Southern tale that’s funny, smart, poignant, and deliciously subversive.” — Michelle Richmond, author of The Marriage Pact.
“In PENELOPE LEMON, Inman Majors captures a subversive, outrageously funny middle America. It’s like Bridget Jones’s Diary, but with a hilarious, small-town, rocker mother as its lead. I laughed out loud A LOT and cheered Penelope every step of the way.” — John Hart, author of The Last Child
KIRKUS REVIEW A recently divorced, financially struggling mom faces online dating challenges when a nude picture of her surfaces on the internet. You would think things couldn't get worse for Penelope Lemon. Since the timer ran out on her marriage to the biggest nerd in her neck of Virginia, she and her son—bullied and dubbed Fart Boy by his schoolmates—have had to move into her parents' basement. Her job as the top waitress at Coonskins, a so-called roadhouse where bus tours unload patrons to compete for tables with "a once-in-a-lifetime view of the parking lot and the traffic on Lee Highway," could easily be mistaken for one of the circles of hell. For a 40th birthday gift, her mother has bought her a Christian dating app called Divote, where she's begun to receive messages from hunky prospects like BrettCorinthians2:2, but her best friends, Sandy and Rachel, are convinced she'd be better off doing macrame or reading The Kite Runner than wading back into the dating pool. Then something happens to prove their point. While navigating through the porn-site pop-ups that make it so annoying to use her father's ancient computer, she's sucked in by an ad for PaybacksAreHeaven.com. There she finds herself particularly engaged by a photo of a sleepy redhead on a waterbed. Then the memories come flooding back. "Yes, now that she thought of it, she had definitely posed nude while hitting a bong. The bong was green. Her name was Tinkerbell. Recalling all this, Penelope spent a moment wondering if she was really meant for life in the middle class." Majors (Loves Winning Plays, 2012, etc.) writes lines like that for breakfast, so you'll want to stay for lunch. A light and lively sendup of modern woes.