“A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking,” by Adam Briggle

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In 2009, Adam Briggle accepted a position at the University of North Texas in Denton as a philosophy professor. He soon discovered he had moved into the heart of the Barnett Shale Formation and fracking wells were being drilled throughout the community. Near playgrounds. Next to schools. Beside homes. The risks […]

“The Last Great American Magic,” by L.C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Last Great American Magic, by L.C. Fiore, is a sprawling epic spanning the life of the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh from childhood in Ohio Country to his death in Upper Canada, roughly 1774-1813. The warrior’s battles take him all over the East, from Tennessee to southern bayous, joining forces with […]

“It’s Not Like I Knew Her,” by Pat Spears

Reviewed by Donna Meredith It’s Not Like I Knew Her, by Pat Spears, shines as a classic coming-of-age story exploring a young woman’s poignant awakening of forbidden desire. This Tallahassee writer and Florida State University graduate wrangles words with the clarity and style of a true wordsmith. Her sentences percolate with the right rhythms and […]

“Life Through These Eyes,” by Michael S. Lambiotte

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Life Through These Eyes is a collection of over a hundred thoughtful, short personal essays by West Virginia native Michael S. Lambiotte. A few of these essays, first published as columns for a local newspaper, are specific to life in Clarksburg, but most would strike a chord of familiarity with people […]

“The Paris Key,” by Juliet Blackwell

Reviewed by Donna Meredith What could be grander, sweeter, and more delightful than a woman finding—no, recreating— herself in the glamorous, enlightened city of Paris? That is the happy premise behind Juliet Blackwell’s novel, The Paris Key. But as you might suspect, Genevieve Martin’s journey is marked by obstacles and dark moments. To escape the […]

“The Gospel of the Twin,” by Ron Cooper

Reviewed by Donna Meredith With his third novel, The Gospel of the Twin, Ron Cooper delves into very different and far more controversial territory than his earlier fiction, Hume’s Fork and Purple Jesus. Those were satirical in tone, peopled with wacky characters. In The Gospel of the Twin, Judas Didymos Thomas, now eighty years old, […]

“The Grace of the Gingko,” by Michael Hardesty

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Given that 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren in the United States, it’s surprising more fiction hasn’t explored those relationships. Michael Hardesty’s debut novel, The Grace of the Gingko (Old Stone Press, 2015), fills that gap with a heart-warming tale of one grandfather’s tender devotion, a story splashed liberally with humor […]

“The Poisoned Table,” by Diane Michael Cantor

Reviewed by Donna Meredith “I was a slave,” a renowned white actress confesses in Diane Michael Cantor’s captivating historical novel, The Poisoned Table (Mercer University Press, 2015). Private lives are far from what others imagine them to be in this story based on the life of nineteenth-century British actress and writer Fanny Kemble. Events take […]