The Works of Jayne Pupek

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Richmond, VA, United States
Jayne Pupek is the author of the novel "Tomato Girl" (Algonquin Books, 2008) and a book of poems titled "Forms of Intercession" (Mayapple Press, 2008). Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals. In addition to her own writing, Jayne freelances as a ghostwriter, editor and mentor. A Virginia native, Jayne has spent most of her professional life working in the field of mental health.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Review by Library Journal-Tomato Girl

Beth E. Andersen - Library Journal

The wonder of it all is that Ellie Sanders was able to maintain her charming, tenderhearted outlook for the first 11 years of her life. She and Rupert, her strong, protective father, have their hands full managing her mother Julia's wild bipolar mood swings. Then Rupert brings home Tess, the beautiful, epileptic 18 year old who provides tomato plants to Rupert's store. Pregnant Julia has fallen down the basement stairs, and Tess is there to care for the family. Then every kid's worst fear becomes Ellie's reality. She struggles mightily to manage the kind of cruel confusion caused by parents who force their children to cover for their mistakes. Rupert loses the battle of decency, succumbing to the unique idiocy of blinding infatuation, leaving Ellie alone with her mother while he flees the law with Tess. Only the loving kindness of an elderly black couple saves Ellie from the ensuing cascade of tragedies, a salvation complicated by the racial divide in Ellie's Southern community. Pupek's debut is a wrenching, stunning, and pitch-perfect novel that captures the best of Southern literature's finest storytelling colors. Highly recommended.