Congratulations to Mike O'Brien, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Rodin's Debutante by Ward Just.
The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady. It's a funny, touching story of a wronged woman who plots her revenge on a doctor for contributing to her daughter's death more than 40 years earlier. Technically, Marylou Ahearn may not be radioactive, but as the novel opens, she does burn with a nuclear fury at Wilson Spriggs. Now suffering from Alzheimer's, the daffy Dr. Spriggs gave a pregnant Marylou a radioactive cocktail as part of a government experiment in 1953. Hell hath no fury like a woman's dish of revenge served cold. Or something like that.
However, the novel is about much more than Marylou's plot to kill Wilson. Like John Irving in his finest moments, Stuckey-French covers a lot of ground with an ample cast of characters, including a menopausal wife, her weather-obsessed workaholic husband, some sibling rivals, a pair of teenage lovers, a whip-smart boy who's building a nuclear device in his shed, and a sleazeball minister. Just for fun, Stuckey-French also throws in some Elvis sightings, a Welsh Corgi dog named Buster, a poisoned pineapple-upside-down cake, and a hurricane. In my earlier review of the book, I wrote: "Offbeat, jaunty, and sometimes poignant, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady plants its tongue in its cheek from the start and only takes it out for an ending that earns its feel-good denouement honestly." [Click here for the full review...]
If you'd like the chance to win a copy of The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, all you have to do is answer this question:
What 1999 book was an inspiration for Stuckey-French's novel? (The answer can be found at the author's website--click on the "Story Behind the Story" link)
Email your answer to email@example.com
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until the contest closes at midnight on April 7--at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on April 8.