The Hallelujah Side

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000 - Fiction - 272 pages
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THE HALLELUJAH SIDE is the funny, heartwarming, and "holy" original story of Roxanne Fish, a little girl growing up in 1950s Iowa in a Bible-quoting Pentecostal family who devoutly believe that the second coming of Christ could happen any day -- certainly by the end of the week. For the Fish family, the world is divided into two groups, those who are saved and ready to be called to heaven any minute and those who are not. Here rock 'n' roll, Capri pants, lipstick, and roller-skating are the work of the devil, and sinners can be spotted in an instant by their knowledge of TV.
With a comic yet tender touch, Rhoda Huffey chronicles Roxanne's coming of age as she races the clock to be counted among the saved. Her neighbors certainly won't be, and it is in their sin-filled basement that Roxanne discovers, thanks to a Little Richard album, another kind of rapture altogether -- her voice. Boy, can this little girl sing! Torn between the here-and-now and the hereafter, Roxanne has a life populated by angels with blue noses, demons who whisper "God doesn't like you," and sinners, sinners everywhere. But through her endearing eyes and in Rhoda Huffey's deft hands, this world seems like the most magical place on earth.

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About the author (2000)

The daughter of two Pentecostal preachers, Rhoda Huffey lives in Venice Beach, California. She is a magazine writer and a tap dancer who teaches adn performs extensively. She also holds an M.F.A. form the University of California at Irvine, and has been published in Ploughshares. The Hallelujah Side is her first novel.

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