June Read of the Month: “Song of the Vagabond Bird,” by Terry Kay

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Novels about male bonding are fairly unusual—unless the band of brothers emerges from war. Armed conflict plays no part in Terry Kay’s latest novel, though the major characters are all wounded. Not by guns or I.E.D.’s. By women. Lost love. Crushing guilt. Georgia Hall of Fame writer Terry Kay has written […]

“The Lion of Babylon,” by Michael Whitehead

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Combining touches of magical realism with the stark reality of life in a war zone, Michael Whitehead delivers a memorable literary novel with The Lion of Babylon. Thousands of years of religious and cultural conflict provide the backdrop for this parable set in the city of Al Hilla, one hundred kilometers […]

May Read of the Month: “Study of Scarletts,” by Margaret Donovan Bauer

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Think you know everything there is to know about Scarlett O’Hara? Not so fast! Margaret Donovan Bauer’s newest book will likely have you reexamining the true nature of this American icon. Bauer’s intelligent analysis of five novels with strong female characters in A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara and Her Literary […]

April Read of the Month: “Sewing Holes,” by Darlyn Finch Kuhn

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Like many Southern novels, Sewing Holes explores a somewhat dysfunctional family facing challenges and loss. Yet Darlyn Finch Kuhn’s refreshing approach to this material results in a novel more heartwarming than tragic, more uplifting than gloomy. Narrator Tupelo Honey Lee is known by her middle name—for obvious reasons. Set in 1975 […]

“Dollbaby,” by Laura Lane McNeal

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Dollbaby, Laura Lane McNeal’s debut novel, is a Southern gothic tale with the requisite decaying mansion, locked rooms, long-held secrets, and a sometimes eccentric, sometimes just plain crazy owner named Fannie. Almost-twelve-year-old Ibby Bell finds herself deposited at the door of her grandmother Fannie’s “Queen Anne monstrosity” in New Orleans after […]

“The Land Breakers,” by John Ehle

Reviewed by Donna Meredith John Ehle’s The Land Breakers transports readers to the mountains of North Carolina in 1779, when settlers first breach the virgin forests and wrestle a primitive life from the land. More completely and accurately than any other author, Ehle conveys the struggle involved in settling this rugged territory by immersing us […]

“The Cottoncrest Curse,” by Michael H. Rubin

Reviewed by Donna Meredith It’s the history woven into the tale that grabbed me most in Michael H. Rubin’s debut novel, The Cottoncrest Curse. Thoroughly researched, this historical thriller captures the high drama of the Civil Rights Era’s Freedom Riders and Knights of the White Camellia and offers authentic details concerning the harvesting of sugarcane […]

“The Wishing Tide,” by Barbara Davis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Barbara Davis’s haunting novel, The Wishing Tide, three people allow their troubled pasts to define the present, stripping them of any chance of happiness. Expertly plotted yet character-driven, this lovely book is highly recommended to those who enjoy fine Southern fiction like the novels of Anne Rivers Siddons and Cassandra […]