In her debut novel, Helen Ellis captures the southern
mystic of mother-daughter relationships, Greek sisterhood, and freak
shows. Eating the Cheshire
Cat follows the lives of three Alabama girls who are destined to
collide in a memorable climax.
Sarina Summers lives on Cheshire Way in Tuscaloosa,
Alabama. She is a classic
beauty except for her crooked pinkies that her mother fixes at her
sixteenth birthday party. Sarina
is a pro at manipulation and will go to all extremes to win.
Nicole Hicks is Sarina’s next door neighbor and best
friend. She will do anything
to stay in Sarina’s good graces – from making herself ugly for a
double date to failing a grade. Her
obsession with Sarina and her own mother’s pushing causes Nicole to
cross into madness. In fact,
Nicole admits to being crazy.
Bitty Jack Carlson is a poor girl whose family works at a
summer camp. When Bitty’s
father catches Sarina doing an unnatural act with a blow dryer, Sarina
claims that Bitty’s father is a pervert.
From that moment on, Bitty Jack and Sarina are enemies.
Men are under the spell of these steel magnolias.
Sarina uses them for her pleasure, then dismisses them.
She does meet her match with her fiancée, who gives as good as he
At the freak show, Bitty falls for the Johnny Iguana, who
would love to slither into the sunset with her. But college calls, and Bitty becomes the girlfriend of
Big Al – Alabama’s elephant mascot.
There is one drawback in this relationship, Big Al used to be
Sarina’s boyfriend and was the one chosen to take her cherry.
Eating the Cheshire Cat will bring the belly
laughs out at very dark situations.
From the rush parties to the homecoming game, Ellis zeros in on
southern gothic themes and hits a bulls eye.