Evangelina is as everyday as women come. If she were a landscape, she’d be a patch of woods on the edge of a fallow Indiana field, her edges visible from all directions from miles away. Nothing special on the outside. A disturbance to nobody. One might think her a boring, self-contained Midwestern housewife.
But poke one foot into Evangelina Everyday, and before you know it, you are in Evangelina’s undergrowth, her mind. Inside Evangelina’s mind, a grocery store grid of saltines can paralyze, dolphins swim at the edge of a town called Hicksville, and the tweets of a presidential candidate spark desperate dreams of poems carved into potatoes. Inside Evangelina’s mind, Downton Abbey characters, especially poor Edith, become people worth praying for in hopes that by praying, her own unhappy life might improve.
Mixing humor and sincerity, Dawn Burns roots her debut collection firmly in the minutiae of Midwestern life, focusing on the inner life of one who suffers the annoyances of a Midwestern lifestyle in a manner all her own, a manner filled with anxious contemplation of the worth of her life.
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