Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ha ha ha! I loved it. This is a dark, quirky, witty and humorous epistolary novel about a fictional island off the coast of South Carolina. When a series of letters start to fall from a cenotaph of the great Nevin Nallop, whom the island was named for, a series of strange laws arises forbidding the island residents from speaking or writing them. People who say any of the forbidden letters are reprimanded and after a final offense are kicked off the island or face execution! In order to preserve the island and bring back the ousted citizens, Ella Minnow Pea must come up with a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet but only in 32 letters or less.
I want to call it cutesy but there is death, divorce, betrayal and totalitarianism in small doses. It's definitely worth a read to see how the citizens come up with brainy ways of communicating without the taboo letters.
Most importantly, have a dictionary handy for this lexicon of copious and ostentatious writing. :o)
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