Jean Vale Horemarsh is content, for the most part, with the small-town life she’s built: a semi-successful career as a ceramics artist, a close collection of women friends (aside from that terrible falling-out with Cheryl years ago), a comfortable marriage with a kind if unextraordinary man. But it is only in watching her mother go through the final devastating stages of cancer that Jean realizes her true calling. No one should have to suffer the indignities of aging and illness like her mother did—and she, Jean Horemarsh, will take it upon herself to give each of her friends one final, perfect moment . . . and then, one by one, kill them.
Of course, female friendships are quite complicated things, and Jean is soon to discover that her plan isn’t as simple as she initially believed it to be.
“A cagey satirical noir .…Wicked humor glints kitchen-knife bright as the unhinged Jean blithely traverses the suburbs dispensing her most intimate friends.”
“A tidy social commentary with some very dark dimensions.”
“Amusing yet horrifying . . . Exceeding the predictable by a long shot, [PRACTICAL JEAN] will beguile readers possessing a sardonic streak as well those who appreciate gallows humor.”
“PRACTICAL JEAN practically blew my mind. Trevor Cole’s twisted novel about Jean Vale Horemash, a friend so devoted she will commit murder, is not only deliciously funny - it is also surprisingly, heartbreakingly poignant.”
“Those who enjoy Zoë Heller’s mordant take on female friendship (Notes on a Scandal) or the black humor of such classic films as Arsenic and Old Lace and Kind Hearts and Coronets will appreciate this fine social satire.”
Jean wouldn’t be able stand it if something unfortunate were to befall her friends—that’s why decides to kill them herself, before anything else can harm them. Bad Marie meets Arsenic and Old Lace in this darkly humorous story of a woman whose overpowering love for her friends moves her to murder each and every one of them. Practical Jean, the U.S. debut of acclaimed Canadian author Trevor Cole, is a “biting and black comedy of middle-class mores gone murderously wrong” that “combines diamond-cut social satire with thoughtful contemplations of friendship” (Globe and Mail). A deliciously dark satire with roots that spread from Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal to Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, Cole’s Practical Jean is a razor’s edge dissection of relationships, faithfulness, and homicide. After all, what are friends for?