Dreamers Out of Step

by Joan Noeldechen



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 12/03/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 232
ISBN : 9780738851365

About the Book

Frankie Nolan returns to the mystical La Doma de les Flores and resumes her bohemian life at a liberal arts college in North Florida. She meets up with her old friends: Alice Chalfont loves trouble better than pot and sex. Berta Thomas is her one sane studious friend who is having problems finding her place in the world. Jeannie slowly loses herself in the arms of the dean of the college. Ax would prefer to be the Second Coming of Elvis. Georgia Lee Jackson is a fiery devotee of the Old South who’d like to kick every Yankee out. Oriole is a mysterious drifter from another Arts school. Vita Jasmine Foote, a spoiled actress, tries to run everything with ridiculous results.  Frankie has one desire. She’d love to be a female saloon singer.  She soon has her chance at a small nightclub called the Alley where she meets Tony Ciardi and Charlie the crusty bartender. When Frankie finds the position has been withdrawn, she takes a job as a waitress. She assumes Tony is a piano player and Charlie is the owner of the Alley. Frankie butts heads with Tony and softens Charlie in the process. In the meantime Frankie, Ax, Alice, and Georgia Lee have problems in the theater department with their fanatical drama teacher and her creation of the most horrendous musical adaptation of The Merchant of Venice ever staged. Jeannie slowly loses her mind. The dean pushes her further into madness and unknowing into the path of his psychotic beer drinking, Oreo eating son.  Jr. rapes and kills Jeannie in the dunes. Alice and Ax set out to find him. Tony and Frankie drive each other crazy and fall in love. Frankie walks out on the drama department, assembles a band with Blue Note - a homeless musician, Charlie - who played during the Big Band era, Howie - a retired musician from Miami, and Ax. Jr. follows Frankie one night and knocks her unconscious. After waking up Frankie is less like herself and more like a swaggering Sinatra. She joins Alice in wild pursuit of Jr. on a back road. They wind up in a ditch. Jr. escapes. A busload of Elvis impersonators invades the town for a religious experience. Frankie and the men play the Alley, but Jr. shows up to finish Frankie off. He gets away, runs home, changes his appearance, and drives into the night. The girls tie up their dreams and conflicts at graduation.  Jr. returns to confront his father and murders his mother beneath a magnolia. Jr. then crosses paths with Oriole. He tries to rape her, but she whacks him in the temple with a baseball bat she calls Satchel Paige.

About the Author

Joan Noëldechen has been published in various journals, magazines, and in June Cotner’s Bedside Prayers and Bless the Day. Her complete poetry collection, Ashes & Embers, will be available through major booksellers this fall. She is now working on a novel about Asheville and a new book of poetry. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her partner, Mark and literary cat, Nocturne.