My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The second of the 2017 CIPA Evvy award winning novels I chose to read is Never Enough Flamingos by Janelle Diller. It shared the first place award in historical fiction with The Other Side of Him. (My book, Hopatcong Vision Quest won a merit award in the same competition.)
Never Enough Flamingos is a fascinating, well-written novel, set in a Mennonite community in Kansas during the Depression. In the introduction Diller describes Mennonites in the following way:
In a manner of speaking, Mennonites and Amish are kissing cousins, but even that's a risky description since Amish tend not to kiss anyone but other Amish.
The introduction is interesting, especially for readers like me, who know very little about the history of Mennonites. Don't skip it.
Since the Mennonites are a highly religious group, I expected they would be less susceptible to the temptations of day to day life, but this is the depression, there hasn't been rain for way too long, and these are farmers. It's a hard time to live through and hard times not only lead people to make questionable decisions, but they also present other people with opportunities to take advantage.
The title Never Enough Flamingos seemed strange at first, until Cat (the narrator) described her mom as ...a flamingo in a sea of turkeys... and it became clear that flamingos are the people who rise above the failings of the general population, even in hard times. The story is about those people as well as the people who give in to temptation.
Steve Lindahl – author of Hopatcong Vision Quest, White Horse Regressions, and Motherless Soul
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