Mrs. Odboddy vows to bring the villains, both foreign and domestic, to justice, all while keeping chickens in her bathroom, working at the Ration Stamp Office, and knitting argyles for the boys on the front lines.
Imagine the chaos when Agnes’s long-lost WWI lover returns, hoping to find a million dollars in missing Hawaiian money and rekindle their ancient romance. In the thrilling conclusion, Agnes’s predictions become all too real when Mrs. Roosevelt unexpectedly comes to town to attend a funeral and Agnes must prove that she is, indeed, a warrior on the home front.
In a couple of decades, I can totally see myself 'Agg-ing out', which is a term I've made up for acting like Agnes Agatha Odboddy. I'll have to hone my conspiracy theories a little, though. I do have my doubts about just who is being served by big governments and big corporations....but that's a story for another day.
It is hard for (well, at least a majority of "1st Worlders") to comprehend rationing and not being able to buzz down to a store to pick up as much of whatever we want. I was amazed at how much the military let civilians do back in those days. You can't get a governement job these days without filling out a 20 page application, go through six months of interviews and testing, including the drug and lie detector tests, and then maybe...just maybe...you have a job.
I swear I know all of the characters in the book. Well, their Dog Walk doppelgangers anyway. We are miles from the nearest incorporated town. But there is a country store near here were you can get local news faster than waiting for the paper.
While we are not in coal country, we're mighty close and miner families have long memories of the advantage that was taken of them by the big companies. So, the locals are wary of outsiders and the government. But getting to a place where we are so paranoid that we lock people up because of their heritage? My heart nearly broke when they came and took that woman out of the knitting circle (at a church?) because, although an American citizen, she was of Japanese heritage. And it made me angry.
We may say, "Oh, but that was then...we're much more advanced now." Are we? Should a judge, born in the United States, be recused from a case because he is of Hispanic extraction? Should we ban visitation visas and immigration of people because of their religion? Any of this sounding familiar? What happened to 'give me your tired, your poor....'?
OK. Down off my soap box.
The tension built nicely throughout Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot. The beginning was a nice little story about small-town USA during WWII. I was a little taken aback at the lack of respect of the town fathers (so to speak) for Agnes. Yes, she had reported numerous things that turned out not being so. Maybe that's just me as I creep upwards in years. I was very glad to see in the end that a meeting of the minds took place on this point - the law, her grand-daughter, etc admitted that Agnes's perceptions are not always wrong, and Agnes agreed to temper her re/actions with a little more thought.
There were a couple of really gnarly twists in the story line towards the end that were quite surprising and enjoyable. I really did not see them coming. I would hope that I would make a better choice when confronted with an issue than did one of the 'supporting cast'. It messes with one's reality when mostly good people do something bad, or vice versa.
I am looking forward to the new installments of Agnes's story. Maybe by then I will learn to type her last name correctly - as Odboddy instead of Oddbody!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Mrs. Odboddy's character is based in no way on Elaine's quirky personality. Two more Mrs. Odboddy adventures will publish in the near future. Many of Elaine's short stories have appeared in magazines and multiple anthologies.
Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews as well as guest posts by the author, character guest posts and an interview with one of the characters. You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)