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book cover of The Laughing Place

The Laughing Place

A novel by

Like the town they live in, Timmons, South Carolina, the Vesses are a peaceful model family. John Vess, attorney and pillar of the community, and Louise, his devoted wife, have conducted their lives seamlessly in a house that has belonged to the Vesses for generations. Now young, recently widowed Annie Vess has come home to comfort her mother after the shocking insult of he father's sudden death. But things are not the way Annie left them; Timmons is changing. A dam has flooded thousands of acres to create an artificial lake, Annie's cousin Mel is about to marry a man of highly questionable character, her mother seems to be relinquishing her common sense (and her soul) to a born-again sentimentality, and the old colonel next door is sinking inexorably into senility. Perhaps most alarming of all, Annie's memories of her father, valiant defender of lost causes, is threatened by her discovery that he led a double life. And Annie, for the first time since the death of her husband, embarks on a thrilling - and fearsome - love affair with a compellingly mysterious man.
By turns comic and dark, Durban's portrait of a family under siege becomes a meditation on the South's obsession with continuity and tradition. Lyrical, wise, and achingly tender, here is a novel about that place in all our hearts called home.


Used availability for Pam Durban's The Laughing Place

Hardback Editions

June 1993 : USA Board book

Title: Laughing Place
Author(s): Durban
ISBN: 0-684-19258-6 / 978-0-684-19258-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 1995 : USA Paperback

Title: The Laughing Place: A Novel
Author(s): Pam Durban
ISBN: 0-312-13110-0 / 978-0-312-13110-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA