By Trevor Cole
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062082503, 320pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Jean Vale Horemarsh is content, for the most part, with the small-town life she's built: a semi-successful career as a ceramics artist, a close collection of women friends (aside from that terrible falling-out with Cheryl years ago), a comfortable marriage with a kind if unextraordinary man. But it is only in watching her mother go through the final devastating stages of cancer that Jean realizes her true calling. No one should have to suffer the indignities of aging and illness like her mother did and she, Jean Horemarsh, will take it upon herself to give each of her friends one final, perfect moment . . . and then, one by one, kill them.
Of course, female friendships are quite complicated things, and Jean is soon to discover that her plan isn t as simple as she initially believed it to be.
“Amusing yet horrifying . . . Exceeding the predictable by a long shot, [PRACTICAL JEAN] will beguile readers possessing a sardonic streak as well those who appreciate gallows humor.”
“Those who enjoy Zoë Heller’s mordant take on female friendship (Notes on a Scandal) or the black humor of such classic films as Arsenic and Old Lace and Kind Hearts and Coronets will appreciate this fine social satire.”
“PRACTICAL JEAN practically blew my mind. Trevor Cole’s twisted novel about Jean Vale Horemash, a friend so devoted she will commit murder, is not only deliciously funny - it is also surprisingly, heartbreakingly poignant.”
-Marcy Dermansky, author of Bad Marie
“A cagey satirical noir .…Wicked humor glints kitchen-knife bright as the unhinged Jean blithely traverses the suburbs dispensing her most intimate friends.”
“A tidy social commentary with some very dark dimensions.”
-New York Times Book Review