The Lullaby Motel
Published by: Prism Light Press
Release Date: August 29, 2021
The Lullaby Motel is about girls eager to discard their innocence, and women yearning to re-gain it.
Set in Florida's land of bare feet, rain puddles, sand spurs, palmettos, giant multi-colored grasshoppers and alarmingly pink azaleas, these stories take place where garish development rises temporarily out of the primordial swamps. Whether the characters are looking for burrow owls in the Panhandle marshes or feeding sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, their sorrows, deceptions, and hopes are intertwined with a landscape that is part strip mall, part paradise.
A college girl named Jenny admits she is in an abusive relationship, and acknowledges her own complicity. A career woman looks back on her dubious past, and her confession to a prospective lover leaves no doubt about her guilt. From the Miami hooker to the suburban housewife, all the protagonists search for meaning in their troubled lives. Redemption may be a long shot, but it's still a possibility.
At times humorous, other times heart wrenching, these stories document the ways in which we survive, often in spite of ourselves.Add on Goodreads
"MacEnulty's sensitivity for those small moments that render life completely changed is at the heart of this collection of short stories. In The Language of Sharks the lives concerned are those of young, disillusioned women in Florida, and we are given them via a spare, disciplined prose that no one will be able to read without thinking of Hemingway. But MacEnulty has made the style her own."
— The Observer
My daughter’s hair is golden brown, long and usually tangled. She wears a hairwrap around a tiny braid made of blue, white and black thread with a metal crescent moon dangling from the end. She’s lanky and stunning. Her eyes are shaped like softly rounded rectangles and it’s difficult not to stare at them when she’s talking to you. I try to make her wash that mane of hair once a week.
When I was little, my hair was darker than hers is, and it hung to my waist. My mother’s friends called me “Lolita.” Why did they say that, I wonder. Was my need so evident even then in the midst of my innocence? I can’t imagine anyone saying that about my daughter. For one thing I wouldn’t take it well. But I suppose she’s not anything like I was except for the hair. I was angry and dishonest and wild. I played with boys. I loved the tussle and the hard pull of my breath as I ran or pedaled my bike with the gang. My girl plays in the woods, loves cats and only has girl-friends. She’s dutiful about homework and never swears though she hears my foul mouth all the time. Emily has never stolen anything in her life. I was an accomplished shoplifter at her age.