The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns
Elizabeth Leiknes
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Buy *The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns* by Elizabeth Leiknes online

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns
Elizabeth Leiknes
Bancroft Press
167 pages
June 2009
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Who would have the nastiness, the evil, the just plain meanness to take advantage of a ten-year-old kid's plea for help? Satan would, that's who!

When Lucy's sister, Ellen, has a terrible accident, Lucy turns to their playhouse mailbox. She leaves a note - a plea, really - for the survival of her sister. Her only mistake is a certain vagueness in addressing it: "To Whom it May Concern" is not very exact, unfortunately. But it gets a reply, and her sister recovers.

As the years go by, Lucy forgets about that reply, and the creepy "I'll be in touch" included within it. She even manages to overlook the birthday phone calls that she receives thereafter, the ones that ask what she wishes for and somehow grants those wishes, even when the wishes are for a prettier face and bigger boobs.

Then, during Lucy's first year of college, the Devil comes to collect his due. Lucy is placed in his ranks as a "facilitator." There are some high points: she never ages, and she can eat anything she wants without gaining a pound. She also gets to do away with the some really evil humans, sending them down her basement stairs to Hell. But the drawbacks are huge. She has to sever her link with her family for fear of causing them harm. And she is not allowed to have a close relationship with a man - no boyfriends, no husband, no children, nothing like that. She is lonely.

After years of serving as Satan's minion, Lucy's luck turns one day when she learns that there is a way out. A loophole. By fulfilling three tasks, she can return to her normal life and be free of the job - and the boss - she hates. But, of course, the tasks are not easy. They require ingenuity and courage.  Will Lucy have enough of both to break the bargain that she made when she was just a kid?

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns is such fun - well-written, with some hilarious scenes and a truly likable heroine. The story moves along at a brisk pace, a short book that just speeds by. The whole thing is charming and quirky, and it even contains some nods to classic literature. Try not to like this book.  Go ahead, try. I'll bet you won't be able to. It is lovable. I, for one, will be fascinated to see where Elizabeth Leiknes takes readers next.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Carey Anderson, 2009

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