In the tradition of Fannie Flagg and Lorna Landvik, The
Saints and Sinners of Okay County is a heartfelt and
compelling debut novel with an unforgettable heroine. It's
the story of a woman whose ability to see the futures of
others leads her right back into her own troubled past.
It's the summer of 1976, and it seems like the entire state
of Oklahoma is celebrating America's bicentennial. But in
the small town of Okay, Aletta Honor has much more on her
mind than flags and fireworks. She's pregnant with her
fourth child and hasn't seen her husband, Jimmy, in weeks.
Although she can guess where the hound dog has parked his
red-white-and-blue van—in front of the local gin mill or
outside the home of yet another woman for a little Yankee
Doodle Diddle. Discretion is not in the man's constitution.
Flat broke and desperate for some cash, Aletta decides to
set up a food stand on the front lawn during the Okay Czech
Festival. But when a woman touches her hand in sympathy,
Aletta is completely unsettled. She never touches anyone
outside her family—if she does, she gets overwhelming
visions of their lives and futures. It started when she was
a young girl and has scared her ever since. Now Aletta
immediately sees the woman in a tragic accident, and gives
her a warning that will save her life. When the woman
returns the next day to thank her, Aletta figures out how
to save her own life.
With all the courage she can muster—figuring the townsfolk
will most likely think she's nuts—she puts a sign in the
front yard: ALETTA HONOR. PSYCHIC READER. DROP-INS WELCOME.
But doing readings for people opens a door she thought she
had locked long ago, as memories of a terrible event come
flooding back. She may not be able to see into her future,
but she realizes she must face the demons in her past if
she's going to make a new life for herself and her kids.
First, though, she'll have to tell a few fortunes. . . .
Poignant, touching, and full of the kind of wisdom that can
only come straight out of the heartland, Dayna Dunbar's The
Saints and Sinners of Okay County is a wonderful novel of a
woman who confronts pain in order to reclaim her belief in
herself, lay her past to rest, and bring order back to a
life that has veered too far off track.