“Messenger from Mystery,” by Deno Trakas

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Messenger from Mystery is Dr. Deno Trakas’s first novel, but he’s not unknown to upstate South Carolina readers. He holds the Laura and Winston Hoy Chair in English at Wofford and has published both fiction and poetry in journals and anthologies. The novel harks back to the latter years of […]

“Lead me Home,” by Amy K. Sorrells

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Lead me Home by Amy K. Sorrells hits the sweet spot between adult and YA Christian Fiction with its compelling tale of teenage angst, abandonment, and loss. Sorrells’s writing is often poetic, emotionally moving with vivid imagery of the setting and characters. However, she often relies on stereotypical characters and situations […]

November Read of the Month: “Weary Kingdom,” by DéLana R. A. Dameron

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl We have moved from Michigan to South Carolina, which is not unlike a sailing ship lifting anchor. If I read DéLana R. A. Dameron’s Weary Kingdom properly, there’s some similarity, a movement from the familiarity of a home in South Carolina to a different world, Harlem and Brooklyn, where she […]

“Assassination at Bayou Sauvage,” by DJ Donaldson

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl DJ Donaldson is the author of a series of Andy Broussard / Kit Franklyn mysteries, most of which have been digitally published in the last half-decade or so. Donaldson’s mystery is readable, but if placed side-by-side with James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels, there are notable differences. Burke, for example, […]

“The Stone Pear,” by Elizabeth Genovise

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Elizabeth Genovise has yet to write a novel, but this fine short-story writer may soon accomplish that feat.  She’s the author of two short-story collections, A Different Harbor and Where There are Two or More, both reviewed in Southern Literary Review.  The Stone Pear is a single story published by […]

“Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty,” by John Boles

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Dumas Malone’s six volume biography of Thomas Jefferson is nearing the half-century mark since publication.  Joseph Ellis’s biography appeared in 1996, followed by other biographies, some of which own a “tabloid” quality. Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello, however, is an insightful consideration of a story largely expunged from history […]

October Read of the Month: “Of Bees and Boys,” by Allen Mendenhall

Reviewed by Yasser El-Sayed Much has already been written about Allen Mendenhall’s new book, Of Bees & Boys: Lines from a Southern Lawyer. The celebrated author William Bernhardt, who penned the forward to the collection of essays, states that “Mendenhall is an artist and writer of the first caliber . . . Time and again […]

“Cherry Bomb,” by Susan Cushman

Reviewed by Niles Reddick Cherry Bomb is Susan Cushman’s first novel, but it doesn’t read like a debut novel. It reads like the work of a master. Cushman is no novice. Her previous books include an excellent and thoughtful work of non-fiction, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s, and the edition A Second […]