This piercing, sly debut novel tells the story of one unforgettable month in a Kentucky girl's thirteenth year. Charmaine Peake's prophet father has been committed to a psychiatric institution. Her mother, forced to rent out their house and move them down to a trailer on the river, won't stop telling Charmaine things she doesn't want to hear--from marital details and middle-aged doubts to uncomfortable preoccupations with Charmaine's changing body. A sanctimonious missionary kid has taken over her real bedroom, where Charmaine discovers his stash of strange and questionable photos. She is being tested at every turn: Where will her choices take her? And her faith? She tries to pray ceaselessly as her father taught, but with so much upheaval, even God seems to have changed.
Like the beloved Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Lay It on My Heart "unleashes Southern humor on the effects of a parent's mental illness. It brings us into the heart of a family weathering the toughest patch in their lives. But most of all, it marks out the seemingly unbearable realities of adolescence and the power that comes from discovering--and accepting--who you are. A moving, hilarious portrayal of the relationship between mothers and daughters, this book fulfills Angela Pneuman's promise as "one of the most astonishingly talented writers today" (Julie Orringer).
About the Author
ANGELA PNEUMAN is a recent Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. Stories from Home Remedies have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She lives in Albany, New York.