Bertie Byrd drives a tow truck for a living as her father's sole employee at Thomas Byrd and Sons' Garage. The two sons long ago abandoned the family business, yet the name remains. I think he still hopes they'll change their minds and come back, says Bertie, the heroine and narrator of Big Hair and Flying Cows, a first novel by Dolores J. Wilson. Bertie never gets around to complaining, which goes to show just how common such indignities have become in her life. Her boyfriend of three years has run off to marry another woman. The residents in her small town of Sweet Meadow, Georgia, are always calling for rides to the doctor or the beauty salon. She rents her house from an elderly man who's been committed to a nearby nursing home only he keeps coming back to re-stake his claim. Naked. And at 32, Bertie's convinced she's fated to spinsterhood, in spite of a string of overtures from unlikely sources the church choir director, her now-married ex-boyfriend and even the male stripper hired to perform at her best friend's bachelorette party. Big Hair and Flying Cows is kind of a grown-up version of the children's classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and it's full of dry, small-town wit. Truthfully, this is not a book likely to linger in your psyche. But it is funny, (mostly) unpredictable, and written with a sense of levity and spontaneity that's almost catching.

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