Thursday, April 26, 2012

REVIEW: Slice of Cherry (Kill Bill + Dexter + a lot of magical realism)

Reeves, D.  (2011).  Slice of Cherry.  New York:  Simon Pulse.

505 pages.

Appetizer:  Sisters Kit and Fancy are close.  Very close.  In fact, with their mother working so much, they're pretty much all each other has ever since their father was convicted to death row as a serial killer and the family was ostracized from the entire town of Portero due to the fact that their father killed several of the neighbors.

After abducting a young trespasser who wanted to steal something from the house of the Bonesaw Killer and torturing him in the basement, the two sisters slowly begin to form a plan, establishing a gateway to another world where they can get away with murder.  Kit and Fancy begin to advertise their problem solving services to the residents of Portero in the hope of being able to reconnect with the community.  But as their plans unfold and the body count rises, Fancy and Kit's relationship becomes strained.

Set in the same fantastic Texas town as Reeves's other novel, Bleeding Violet, there are a few moments when the characters from that novel make their presence known.  When comparing the two, I'd have to say I preferred Bleeding Violet, as a character, I could sympathize with the character of Hanna a little more.  While still very interesting, and even when taking on a bit of the feel of Kill Bill's Bride character by exacting vengeance against characters who wrong others, I couldn't really connect with Kit or Fancy.

This novel is doing a lot of really complex stuff:  exploring the tension of coming to age, of acknowledging the violence of the world, of the sisters' relationship changing as they encounter these realities, face falling in love with two brothers for the first time as well as seeking trust, control and escapes from reality.  This book makes me wonder what it's like in the author's head.

Dinner Conversation:

"Fancy only allowed three people in the whole world to get close to her:  Daddy, who was on death row; Madda, who was working the graveyard shift; and Kit, who was dead to the world in the bed next to hers.  And so when she awoke to find a prowler hanging over her, violating her personal space, her first instinct was to jab her dream-diary pencil into his eye.
But even in the dark of night with a stranger in her room, Fancy wasn't one to behave rashly. Daddy had been rash, and now he was going to be killed.  No, Fancy would be calm and think of a nonlethal way to teach the prowler why it was important not to disturb a young girl in her bed late at night." (p. 3)

"She had far-sight.  That's what Daddy called it, an ability to see what was happening in the next room or miles away.  All she needed was something reflective to look at and she could see anything:  She could even make up things.  Like the happy place, a world she'd invented after Daddy had gone away, a world she needed.  The real world had stopped being fun a long time ago."  (pp. 14-15)

"'I know how sy you girls are,' she said gently, "but Juneteenth means something, especially in our family.  You girls are direct descendants of Cherry du Haven.  She--"
"We know, we know," said Kit.  The sisters had heard the Cherry du Haven bit of trivia a million times.  "Once upon a time there lived a famous slave who died and then came back as a ghost or whatever to grant wishes for all the good black children in town."  She tapped Fancy on the head with an imaginary wand.  "Bippety, boppety, boo!'" (p. 29)

"'Don't lose your head just because he was flirting with you.  Our dad killed his dad.  The only thing that boy could possibly want from you is revenge.'
Kit's giddiness drained away, and she was silent a long moment before she admitted,"That's what I'd want."
"But the rest of the world ain't like us, Fancy."
"You say that like it's a good thing.  At least we're honest about being the bad guys."
"Honest to who?  Nobody knows what we're really like.  Except Franken."
"Yeah, and he's tied up in our cellar, so I guess that's just as well, Kit." (p. 87)

Tasty Rating:  !!!

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