Demonstrating a clear capacity for creating a main character that is at once intriguing yet familiar, Kenn Bivins’ “the Wedding & Disaster if Felona Mabel” is a captivating read.
The aforementioned Felona Mabel the every-person and the lone wolf. She navigates the terrain of the human existence with vulnerability and hope, which, as well know is, a difficult medium to coalesce. Bivins manages to portray a character, replete with quirks and idiosyncracies, who would not be out of place in a weekly serial drama or comedy… or dramedy.
The novel is about reconciling one’s past and confronting one’s fears. Felona does this with panache and realism. The skeletons in her closet are as terrifying as they were when she put them in there for safe-keeping. The depiction of Felona’s current relationship is funny and true, especially with the underlying message that one must confront their past before truly embracing the future.
Felona seems to have everything she has always wished for: a satisfying job, a new bethrothed, and a presence in a major city. However, when she finds out that her mother is nearing death, she must visit her and confront the woman who had borne her much pain in years gone by.
It’s a tale of redemption and truth, without all the cliches and rhetoric that often comprises today’s popular fiction. Bivins’ prosaic talent walks a fine line between nostalgia and modernity, and I, for one, am a big fan.