Heart of Junk
Booklist Reviews 2019 November #1
*Starred Review* Wichita's Heart of America Antique Mall isn't doing well. Customers are few, booths are empty, bankruptcy looms, and an MC Hammer doll makes its way to Memory Lane, an area reserved for earlier finery. The mall's last hope is a visit from Pickin' Fortunes TV hosts Mark and Grant, who have tentatively cancelled their visit until missing child pageant queen Lindy Bobo is found. The vendors join the search effort in hopes of saving both the girl and their own livelihoods. Geddes (I Am a Magical Teenage Princess, 2012) has successfully woven a slightly dark comic mystery into the heart of a novel comprised of extended third-person character sketches. A middle-aged man grapples with whether to continue collecting vintage records. The teenage daughter of the mall's proprietor stews over being stuck in Wichita. Margaret, the mall's senior-most vendor, is haunted by that MC Hammer doll. Their lives intertwine as they search for Lindy in the city, and for themselves in their obsessions. The writing here is hilarious and poignant, inviting belly laughs and thoughtful, genuinely moving introspection on how what we collect comes to define us. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.