The Proxy Bride,
Terry Favro, 123 pgs, Quattro Books, quattrobooks.ca, $14.95
It’s the summer of ‘69. But in the world of Terri Favro’s The Proxy Bride, it’s far from how Bryan Adams remembers it.
The wheels are set in motion when candy shop owner Marcello Trovato Jr. deflowers and falls in love with his father’s proxy (mail-order) bride (and receives a beating from a bat by his dear old dad).
The situation is further complicated by the fact that father and son are secret porn peddlers, selling contraband magazines in their candy shop. Happily, the gangsters who own said candy shop actually keep their promises and let Marcello Jr. live, even when he fails to sufficiently intimidate a debtor’s family in an effort to repay debts of his own.
On the surface, the book’s setting in Shipman’s Corners (aka St. Catherine’s Ontario) takes place in a simpler time — in the sense that brass knuckles, and not guns, still provide the upper hand.
The world of The Proxy Bride simmers with forbidden passions, conflicted sinners, honourable criminals and family secrets. It takes a while to get started, but once “Step-mom” and “Step-son” finally give in and get
together, it becomes a page-turner that delivers consequences not only for the Trovato family, but for everyone on the block. The Godfather it is not, but The Proxy Bride remains undeniably hot and deserving of its co-victory at the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. (Aaron Broverman)