In the sequel to her beloved Six of One, Rita Mae Brown returns with another witty tale of passion and rivalry in the small Southern town of Runnymede, Maryland. Newspaper editor Nickel Smith is scrambling to save the local paper from corporate extinction, even as she is engaged in an affair that would shock the town as much as it amazes Nickel herself. Meanwhile, her mother, Julia, and her aunt Louise, the infamous Hunsenmeir sisters, who’ve set the town on its ears for decades, keep an eagle eye on Nickel. No matter that she’s a grown woman and that they’re going on ninety; they need someone to gossip about! Not even the town’s weekly bingo games can keep Louise and Julia out of trouble when Ed Tutweiler Walters, an eligible newcomer, arrives in town—and has the sisters fighting over him like schoolgirls. A telling look at the foibles of modern relationships, Bingo is full of wisdom about the comforts, trials, and absurdities of small-town life and especially of our own nearest and dearest.
The author of Rubyfruit Jungle packs an astonishing number of characters and severed loyalties into this amusing, poignant tale, set in fictional Runnymede, Md., a town divided by the Mason-Dixon line, where feuds erupt with the regularity of the weekly bingo night. The queens of contention are the octogenarian Hunsenmeir sisters (introduced in Six of One ), who slug it out with repartee and second-childhood antics when both fall in love with visiting widower Ed Tutweiler Walters. Nickel Smith, daughter and niece of the Hunsenmeir sisters, has reached her late 30s with well-defined roles in the community: as a respected journalist for the Clarion and as a tacitly accepted (read discreet) lesbian. But Nickel's history comes unraveled when she falls into an affair with her best friend's husband, and the newspaper is sold to big-money interests. Along with sketches of zany homegrown characters, Brown offers unpredictable plot resolutions that reinforce her reputation as a writer unafraid of new directions. Similar to, although not as much fun as, Six of One , this is vintage Brown nevertheless. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour.