The Last Suppers
by Mandy Mikulencak
Editor: Kensington Publishing
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Located in the 1950s of Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak beautifully written and moving novel evokes both help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meals to death row inmates brings her into the secrets of her own past.Many children grew up in the shadow of Louisiana’s Greenmount State PenitentiaryMost of them–son and daughters of prison officials and staff–left the place as soon as they could.Again Ginny Polk chose to come back to work as a prison cook.She knows the harsh reality of life within these walls–the cries of the beaten men, the brewing lines held chained together.Yet she never saw them as monsters, not even those sentenced to execution.That’s why Ginny took on a special responsibility: preparing their last meals.Roast or red beans and rice, coconut cake with seven-minute icing or pork neck steweverything that men ask for for Ginny is prepared, even when joined with their loved ones heartbroken to get every recipe right.It’s his way of honouring their humanity, showing some compassion in their final hours.The prison administration board frowned on the ritual, as did Greenmount Prefect Roscoe Simms.Her dad’s best friend before her assassination, Roscoe always watched out for Ginny, and their friendship turned into something profound and unexpected.But when Ginny stumbles upon information about the man executed for his father’s murder, she leads to a series of dark and painful revelationsTruth, justice, mercy– none of them are as simple as Ginny’s already believed.And the more shocking crimes may not be those committed outside of anger or greed, but the sacrifices we make for love.
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