Publisher: Bantam (320 pages)
More Fried Green Tomatoes than Gone with the Wind, Playing with Matches is, of course, neither. But it is a quintessentially Southern novel populated by quintessentially Southern people who somehow manage to make their “sins”—as universal as they are—seem quintessentially Southern, too. And therein lies much of the book’s magnetism.
When we discover, right at the start, that Miss Jerusha Lovemore, who lives on Potato Shed Road in the Mississippi town of False River, once worked for a chicken circus, the bait—for those of us who love this colorful genre—is already cast.