Haynes, Melinda. Chalktown.

Author:Kaplan, Deborah
Position:Book Review

Simon & Schuster, Washington Square Press. 356p, c2001 0-7434-4250-4 $14.00. SA

In George County, Mississippi, Jesus holds a grudge like nobody's business, and loves a good joke, "same as everybody else." 16-year-old Hezekiah Sheehand tries to protect his five-year-old mentally retarded brother, Yellababy, from his mother, Susan-Blair. Seeking refuge from school and the dangerously careless Susan-Blair, Hezekiah takes Yellababy on an afternoon's walk to Chalktown. In Chalktown, the villagers haven't spoken in six years, and communicate by writing on chalkboards. Through multiple third-person narratives, the secrets of Chalktown and its inhabitants are revealed to us. Each character shows us his or her own secrets: love affairs, betrayals, murders, and impending death. A mysterious itinerant preacher...

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