A review of Notes from the Country Club by Publishers Weekly
Kim Wozencraft follows her gritty portrayal of drug addiction in Rush with a compelling, poignant narrative dealing with another kind of fractured dream. By slow degrees, this novel picks apart the broken promises, blows and threats that led a battered woman to kill her husband. While waiting for the state to determine whether she is competent to stand trial, Cynthia Mitchell is incarcerated in the women’s psychiatric ward of the Forth Worth Federal Correctional Institution–“a country club, compared to most,” says the prison shrink. Among the inmates, there’s Coffee, who belts out defiant odes to violent robbery; Herlinda, the mystically inclined leader of a Cuban faction; brassy Nina, doing time for “paperhanging” (check forging), who squirrels away forbidden gum, pills and razor blades. The large and small humiliations of prison echo those that trapped Cynthia into the violent marriage that brought her to Texas, severing her ties to friends and a career in New York. Cynthia’s fellow inmates are generally caring and sympathetic–sometimes almost incredibly so. Wozencraft deals more disturbingly with the physical injuries and betrayals that paved Cynthia’s road to prison. Sharp imagery and a surefooted sense of place makes a hot, dusty Texas wind blow off these pages.
Find out more about Kim’s other novels.