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THE BOOK OF FRED, narrated by four quirky characters, tells the story of Mary Fred Anderson, a teenager from a rural fundamentalist sect who is placed in foster care in the Washington, D.C., suburbs with librarian Alice Cullison. As Mary Fred tries to adjust to the oddities of Alice's unemployed brother Roy, her fifteen-year-old daughter Heather, kwn as Puffin, and their weird friends and neighbours - transsexuals, Unitarians, and aromatherapists - she begins to have a subtle influence on the lives of those around her. Soon, Mary Fred is forced to question everything she has been raised to believe in, including the strange doctrines of the prophet Fred. When confronted with a series of apocalyptic events, Mary Fred must make some tough choices, and the powerful climax of the vel forces her to decide what a family really means. THE BOOK OF FRED is a dark, funny but also deeply serious examination of family values at the end of our century.
Abby Bardi, born and raised in Chicago, has worked as a singing waitress in Washington, D.C., an English teacher in Japan and England, a performer on England's country-and-western circuit, and, most recently, as a professor at Prince George's Community College. Author of a column called Sin of the Month for The Takoma Voice, she is married with two children and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.