The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts

29 Jun


Caney Paxton is man who went off to Vietnam and returned home in a wheelchair.  Feeling ashamed for his part in the war and dealing with nightmares and loneliness, he hasn’t left his Sequoyah, Oklahoma café in 12 years.  Known as The Honk and Holler Opening Soon (thanks to a sign-maker’s error) the café is filled with just the kind of characters you would expect for a restaurant of its type and location.  The book starts out around Christmastime in 1985 and for Caney and waitress Molly O, who helped raise him, the holiday looks anything but merry.  Business is slow, bills are piling up and Molly O is worried about her rebellious teenage daughter, Brenda, a country musician seeking her fortune in Nashville. 

Things change when luck brings the Honk and Holler two new employees: beautiful young Crow Indian drifter Vena Takes Horse, who arrives carrying only a severely injured dog and a backpack, who signs on as a carhop, and Vietnamese refugee Bui Khanh, a handyman running from a guilty secret of his own. Initially reluctant to trust the two outsiders, the Honk and Holler’s regulars come to value Vena and Bui, especially after an act of violence threatens Bui’s life.

Like a lot of books of this type, these characters have lived complex lives with many hurdles to overcome and you root for their success every time you turn the page.  The setting for this simple story captivates you with love, hope and humanity and leaves you with a sense of community and support.

It was a fun little book that my friend Monique gave me late one night when I called out of desperation for something to read.  As you know, I need to be reading something all the time.  I had finished our book club selection, Wildflower Hill and it was going to be at least a week before I started the new book club book and I couldn’t wait.  I’m so lucky to have a friend to who indulges me with late hour book requests.

2 Responses to “The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts”

  1. Monique August 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Im glad you liked it!!

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