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Pigeon Mothers
Marty Correia. My Viral Novel, $10 e-book (344p) ASIN B091NVHHJN
In Correia’s madcap debut, a 12-year-old girl struggles to recover after the loss of her father. When Oleg Sevic falls to his death at the electronics factory in Bridgeport, Conn., where he works, his daughter, Cole, and her mother, Helen, are left with almost nothing. They move to a small apartment in a poorer part of town and Helen works long shifts at a Caldor department store, while Cole befriends the violent and troubled neighbor and schoolmate Vanessa. After Vanessa beats her up, Cole discovers letters from her birth mother, Janet, which Helen had hidden. Cole runs away to join her grandfather Vladimir, a professional arsonist and descendant of P.T. Barnum, who is preoccupied by hearing the voice of an ancestor telling him to go to Coney Island. In a parallel narrative, Janet dreams of scamming enough money to set up a life for her and her “baby” girl, but spends most of the novel drunk and high. While some of the plot points are dropped and Janet’s story tends to drag, Correia delivers a nice payoff when Cole and Vladimir converge in Coney Island. This shaggy story manages enough moving moments to reward patient readers. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/30/2021