{from book jacket}


...sassy chain-smoking, 70 year old Faith Bass Darling is selling all her valuable worldly possessions at a garage sale on the lawn of her historic Bass, Texas mansion.

Why? God told her to.

Because she knows what this is about. It's about dying, and about killing her long-gone husband Claude. As the townspeople grab up the family's heirlooms, the antiques of five generations of Faith's founding family—a Civil War dragoon, a wedding ring, a French-relic clock, a family bible, a roll top desk, an entire room of Tiffany lamps–reveal their own secret roles in the family saga, inspiring life's most imponderable questions:

Do our possessions possess us?
What are we without our memories?
Is there life after death?
Or second chances here on earth?

And is Faith Darling really selling that 1917 Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp for a $1...???


..."On Millennium New Year's Eve, after a midnight revelation from God, Faith Bass Darling had a garage sale. Considering she hadn’t spoken to the Almighty in twenty years, and considering she was the richest old lady in town, this was more than a bit surprising. At straight up midnight, though, she'd bolted upright in her four-poster bed, certain she'd heard her name called like soft lightning. Yet the skies were calm and the stars big and bright. Figuring it was just one of her moments, Faith had gone back to sleep. A few seconds later she heard it again. But once again she shrugged it off and drifted warily back to sleep.

The third time she heard it, she landed in her bare feet on her hardwood floor with the sound of the gentle thunderbolt still in her ears. And this time she found herself moving through her dark and silent turn-of-the-century mansion, the biggest and oldest in Bass, Texas, gazing at all the antiques in all the rooms of the place where she had lived her entire life. She turned on a room full of Tiffany lamps. She fingered the Queen Anne highboy and Victorian wingbacks. She wandered past the player piano, the Spode china service, the grandfather clock in the foyer, the roll-top in the library, opening every drawer, every closet, every cubbyhole, every cupboard, every nook, every cranny in sight.

She continued this until dawn the next morning whereupon she surprised all her neighbors on Old Waco Road, the tiny old town’s lone strip of mansions built when cotton was king and oil was still gushing, by appearing from behind her big carved doors and hanging a handmade garage sale sign around the neck of her peeling lawn-jockey hitching post. And then – after a last long, strong drag off her first Lucky Strike filter of the day and a flourished stubbing-out of the butt on the lawn jockey's head – she began dragging the contents of a century of conspicuous consumption onto her long, sloping lawn.

Because she knew what this was about. This was about dying. This was about dying and killing Claude. It was the beginning of times; it was the end of times. And for 70-year-old Faith Bass Darling, it was about time..."