“The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns,” by Elizabeth Leiknes, appears at first to be a “chick-lit” novel with a supernatural twist. However, this tiny work, a Faustian tale with a bit of dark-side humor, has some meat to it.
Lucy Burns is a quirky, funny 29-year-old who has somehow found herself working for the devil – the real devil. She is a “facilitator,” who seeks out bad souls and, uses her mind-control powers to lure them down her basement stairs directly to Hell. Lucy acquired this job when she was 11 years old and wrote a letter addressed “To Whom it May Concern,” promising to do anything if only her sister, Ellen, would just come out of her coma. In exchange for her sister’s life Lucy agreed to work for the devil.
This often-humorous story contains some wonderful allegories about our own non-supernatural lives: Lucy is in a job she does not like. She has been given everlasting beauty and a metabolism that allows her to eat all the chocolate she wants. Men are besotted with her at first glance.
Despite all of this, Lucy is not happy. One of the rules of working for the devil is that she is not permitted contact with her family or ever to have a boyfriend. Understandably, after 18 years of devil-duty, Lucy longs for a normal life.
But when she tries to fit in with the neighborhood women she finds that is not “it” either. She even gets drunk while hosting a Tupperware party.
This book will probably appeal mostly to young women. The author’s natural flair for writing with an entertaining twist of dark humor makes it well worth reading.
“The Sinful Life of Lucy Barnes” is published by Bancroft Press, a small, independent, privately owned press based in Baltimore, Md.