A CNQ Editors' Book of the Year
Does faith insist upon the spotless soul? Can intellectual integrity and an honest search for the holy in this world survive a collision with religious mania? Is heavenly forgiveness possible this side of the River Styx? In this boisterous, witty, manically paced novel, Maggie Prentice is resolved to find out, even if it costs her everything.
A true original, capable of brilliant verbal contortions, Maggie Prentice won't give up. Haunted by her past, chafing under the tutelage of her born-again, cult-figure brother, coping with the double devils of alcoholism and disconnectedness, she is pursued by the Tanteek, an armchair prankster out of a Dylan song that incarnates her questions, uncertainties, and fears, and dogs her every move. In her wild, over-the-top, yet eerily familiar universe, Maggie is forced to confront life's big questions — faith, fear, love, and death — does life have meaning?
In this daring, intelligent, whip-smart debut novel, Jane Woods has created unforgettable characters that live in what might be an alternate reality. She has also written a captivating, deeply affective story that grabs the reader and won't let go.
"Jane Woods has written a dark novel about hope, a sleepwalker’s tale of the waking world."
"If you have ever questioned God or redemption, ever felt unsure of exactly what you believe, then you might take the challenge of riding with Maggie Prentice. She’s the bitter, beyond middle-aged, alcoholic, anti-heroine narrator in The Walking Tanteek. She’s also a compelling, not easily likable character who escapes anguish in all the wrong places."
"You can get carried away by the energy and extravagance of Woods' writing, the aptness of her metaphors ... which is what makes this such an absorbing and even pleasurable raed, despite how screwed-up most of the characters are. ... The narrative allows Maggie's questions and ambivalences room to spread out in all their difficulty and complexity, which is another reason this is such a satisfying read. Her search for God carries on despite her mother, Gerard, and Liam, and despite herself."