Bingo square, Fauna
I spent a week in Central Florida (pre-Disney era) one summer, many decades back, when I was 9 years old. It was memorable. From the gators roaming the backyards in the evening, to the constant state of sogginess I was in, even as a child, to the amazing show at Weeki Wachee wherein young women with amazing breath-holding skills played at being mermaids in a giant tank. All this is to say that this book could only have been written about that rather surreal world.
Jessa is a lesbian taxidermist, following in her father’s footsteps. Her high school sweetheart ended up marrying her brother, and then ran off, leaving a child behind for Jessa to raise. Her brother then ran off as well, for awhile, and subsequently returned with another child. And then her father, whom she adored, shot himself, and her mother is having some difficulties. So you can see Jessa has a lot on her plate. But if there is one thing that centers her, it is taxidermy, and there seems to be a booming business for it in central Florida. Deceased pets, hunting trophies, and there is always an abundance of road kill.
Her newly widowed mom, however, has an epiphany, and concocts an amazing window display consisting of taxidermied animals and sex toys. An art show, needless to say, soon follows. At least she has her neighbor and buddy Vera to support her, and bake strawberry pies to pass around at the openings.
All I can say is that the weird became normal, and I learned a lot about taxidermy. Respect the animal.