The Pink House

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Published by: Apprentice House
Release Date: May 1, 2016
Pages: 372
ISBN13: 978-1627201032



Jen Johanssen is a former porn actor trying to fit into the world of academia. Her sister, Lolly Johanssen, is a cancer survivor. Nicole Parks is in prison for loving the wrong guy. And Sonya Yakowski, also in prison, is a member of a family of traveling criminals, desperately missing her young son. The lives of these four women converge in a Florida prison, where Jen and Lolly have joined forces to put on a grant-funded drama production. Despite their remarkably diver-gent histories, these women come together in unexpected ways, each beginning to confront and forgive her own past.

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"Switching between the inner vision of each of her characters with skill and ease, MacEnulty develops the story in spare and immediate prose. Without descending to the maudlin, she deals with what could be sad and depressing lives in an inspirational way. So much so that even in death there is an upbeat message of hope."
— Tangled Web Review

"MacEnulty's strong writing ability brings it above the emotion to form a full bodied story that leaves a lasting impression. She is able to lead readers into the lives of her characters by slowing revealing their stories, unfolding the details one by one to open a panorama of survival and substance. She draws tears and cheers for her women through deft plotting and in depth character development, a triumph of heart blended with talent. A winning combination."
— Front Street Review


Lolly went outside to inspect her carpet roses in the evening light. She wasn’t one for the big fat cultivated roses. She liked lantana, bougainvillea, azaleas, lilies and irises. She liked long, stalky flowers and bunchy flowers like hydrangeas and she loved flowers that came from trees like the voluptuous magnolias and the delicate crepe myrtles. The wisteria were her favorite but they were mostly faded and gone. She walked through her garden, admiring the blooms. Spring was over, but the summer blossoms were throwing their arms open and letting loose. She stopped to replenish the bird feeder from a sack of seed she carried with her. A couple of cardinals had a nest in the chinaberry tree just outside her bedroom window.

Sometimes she’d see thrushes, finches, sparrows, or blue jays out here. And of course mockingbirds. When she was young, she had loved that book To Kill a Mockingbird. But the father character, Atticus Finch (a good bird name), was wrong about mockingbirds. They weren’t harmless innocents, those birds. They were as pugilistic a bird as she’d ever seen. She would laugh out loud when she saw a mockingbird chasing down a crow twice its size. She’d even seen one go after a hawk. And they thought nothing, for that matter, about swooping down and dive bombing a dog or a person who came too close to their nests. They were protective, those birds, unlike so many human parents. Oh well, Mama had tried to protect her. But no one can really do it, can they. Life comes at you in a fury and takes whatever the hell it wants. Just be grateful with whatever it leaves you.

She climbed the steps up to her porch. Her stump was hurting, chafed from wearing her prosthetic all day. She sat down on the swing on the front porch and thought back to her trip to the prison.