The Mammoth Cheese In 2000's The Dress Lodger, Holman was as seductive as a siren with her brutal, bleak tale of a desperate woman in 19th-century England. Here,… The Mammoth Cheese In 2000's The Dress Lodger, Holman was as seductive as a siren with her brutal, bleak tale of a desperate woman in 19th-century England. Here,… Fiction Atlantic Monthly Press
Review

The Mammoth Cheese (Summer 2003)

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Writer: Sheri Holman; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

In 2000's The Dress Lodger, Holman was as seductive as a siren with her brutal, bleak tale of a desperate woman in 19th-century England. Here, Holman goes modern and folksy, although she's still following desperate women: Margaret, a struggling Virginia farm owner (and maker of the titular cheese); Polly, Margaret's rebellious teenage daughter; and their neighbor Manda, who, thanks to the wonders of fertility drugs, gives birth to 11 children. It basically adds up to things-can-get-tough-but-ain't-life-grand -- a disappointment from a writer too gifted to settle for merely warming our hearts. With Cheese, Holman has dulled her edges so that there's nothing to snag the reader.

Originally posted Aug 08, 2003 Published in issue #722 Aug 08, 2003 Order article reprints
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