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Strange Nervous Laughter by Bridget McNulty

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Cover art: Strange Nervous Laughter Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Strange Nervous Laughter
Author: Bridget McNulty
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-54434-8
Release Date: May 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: General Fiction
Year/Setting: Present
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Some Violence
Bridget's Website: www.bridgetmcnulty.com


Hi All,

This is a story of six very different characters and how their lives are changed by being in love, out of love, or on the fence between.  It is the one of the hottest days of summer in a Durban, South Africa.  It begins with a robbery of the grocery store where Beth works as a cashier.  Beth has a big heart and has decided to become a motivational speaker.  The rest of the characters introduced are:  Aisha a girl who is a dreamer and her dreams are her daily companions; Pravesh, an undertaker with an odd fetish; Meryl, a Guinness World Records rep and very cynical; Mdu, an introverted person who claims to communicate with whales and Harry, a garbage man with a peculiar sense of smell.

All of their lives become entangled with each other after or because of the burglary at the store.  The lovelorn Beth falls in love with Pravesh who has a toenail fetish and a love for female pop stars; Meryl, a very up tight rep for Guinness who is taken with Harry, a garbage man who steals tips from the local diner and collects all kinds of junk from his routes; and Mdu, the "Whale Whisperer" who falls for Aisha, the dreamer.

Set in the steamy summer of South Africa, all these couples have flaws and self-doubt and are extremely memorable.  For example, the undertaker painting the toenails of corpses and a woman who swims with whales.  This book is pure magic and a journey into the lives of six beautifully written characters.  Ms. McNulty is a very talented writer and this book is really worth a closer look by all readers who enjoy magical journeys and quirky characters.  I really laughed at this funny, endearing piece of fiction and highly recommend it to our readers.

Talk to you soon,
Mary

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