In this novel, the narrator assigns every person in her memory to a certain month -- and Miss Melba's memory holds not just twelve, but twelve-squared characters, along with that many more laughs and sobs. Set in a railroad town in south Alabama, this novel carries us through a good deal of the last century, from the post World War I boom to The Great Depression, from the shame of the Japanese internment camps to the exultation of V-E and V-J days, from the shame of racism to the pleasure of friendships that overcame that same racism. The characters flow as effortlessly as do the months and the shifts of seasons, and Miss Melba draws these characters so lovingly that we almost feel sorry for even the villains, as her brother Earl comments upon watching Sheriff Simon find what he thinks to be the remains of his beloved dog, skinned. And being somewhat of a villain himself, Brother Earl surprises us with even this momentary compassion. But then that's Miss Melba's final point: we're all in this show together,,for we all live in Terminal Bend.Mayer, Patricia is the author of 'Terminal Bend', published 2000 under ISBN 9780942979732 and ISBN 0942979737.