“A Pure Heart,” by Rajia Hassib

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Rajia Hassib’s A Pure Heart (Viking, 2019), characters present different versions of themselves, depending on where they are and whom they are with—as we all do. The result is multi-faceted characters with secrets kept even from closest friends and family. Hassib’s novel shines as one of the finest explorations of […]

“Stars of Alabama,” by Sean Dietrich

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Sean Dietrich’s Stars of Alabama is a beautiful novel, mesmerizing with its complex characters, lush settings, and lyrical language. It is, quite simply, Southern literature at its finest. Written with wisdom, insight, and captivating diction, it is poignant and hopeful, engaging and vivid, full of people who might have died […]

July Read of the Month: “Privilege,” by Claire Matturro

Reviewed by Donna Meredith On the first page of Claire Matturro’s steamy mystery Privilege, 18-year-old Ruby asks criminal defense attorney Gardner Randolph if she can trust him. He leers at Ruby’s chest and already readers want to sound the warning: “No! Don’t trust him!” But she is young, homeless, in trouble with the law and […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Susan Cushman, Author of “Friends of the Library”

AM:  Susan, so glad we get to do this interview.  Friends of the Library is your latest book, a collection of short stories.  This is the fifth book you’ve published in just two years.  What’s going on?  How have you become so productive? SC:  Hi, Allen. Thanks so much for the opportunity to chat. And […]

“Friends of the Library,” by Susan Cushman

Reviewed by Niles Reddick A few months ago, I got an email from Susan Cushman asking if I would endorse her newest book project, a collection of stories titled Friends of the Library. As usual, I immediately agreed and didn’t regret that decision. I have known Susan for several years through a Southern authors blog […]

June Read of the Month: “The Final Reckoning,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Robert Bailey pumps up the thrill in legal thriller with the fourth and final book in his series about Professor Thomas McMurtrie, or Tom, a law professor who returns to the active practice of law. While none of the four books in his series lacks action, The Final Reckoning is […]

“You and I and Someone Else,” by Anna Schachner

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Perceptive insights and clever word plays highlight Anna Schachner’s debut novel You and I and Someone Else. Set in North Carolina, the story centers on several families coping with loss: a young wife’s loss of her husband, a woman who suffers a late-term miscarriage, a couple who lose a six-year-old son, […]

“Sunset Beach,” by Mary Kay Andrews

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews (aka Kathy Hogan Trocheck) created her successful second career by writing books with strong, displaced women who reinvent themselves in the face of struggle. Along with her trademark compelling female protagonists, the books written under the Mary Kay Andrews pen name also feature complicated kith […]