April Read of the Month: “Road’s End,” by Rebecca Barrett

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Lush, lyrical, often painfully sad, the ultimately uplifting Road’s End (Witch Creek Publishing 2017), by Rebecca Campbell Barrett, is Southern literature at its finest. The story of three generations of a West Alabama family focuses on headstrong, sometimes impetuous women whose menfolk are not overlooked. Inspired in part by Barrett’s […]

“Southern Writers Bear Witness,” edited by Jan Nordby Gretlund

Reviewed by William Walsh There’s something about the tactile sensation of opening a book and smelling the paper and ink that lends itself to seemingly unlimited possibilities. Two very distinct things prompted my anticipation of Southern Writers Bear Witness. One, I started off in the mid-1980s interviewing southern writers, including some of the same writers […]

“Two Minus One,” by Kathryn Taylor

Reviewed by Jessica Williams In Two Minus One, Kathryn Taylor bravely shares her personal story of pain, betrayal, and loneliness following a divorce that she didn’t foresee. Her divorce followed several years of a fairytale marriage highlighted by extravagant adventures and trips and numerous acts of kindness. However, the union ended abruptly in an onslaught […]

March Reads of the Month: “Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence” and “Reading Walker Percy’s Novels,” by Jessica Hooten Wilson

Reviewed by Leslie Marsh Jessica Hooten Wilson’s stated ambition is no less than “to revitalize influence studies, especially as they relate to our religious assumptions about aesthetics.” On current form, she may well be the one to achieve this. Hooten Wilson’s two books are dealt with in tandem not only because they have appeared in […]

“What Blooms From Dust,” by James Markert

Reviewed by Richard Allen Jeremiah Goodbye steps onto the road, disheveled and confused. He absentmindedly fingers the coin in his right hand. I shouldn’t be alive. Minutes ago, he was strapped to a chair waiting to be electrocuted for a murder spree that he may or may not have committed. His protests of innocence were […]

February Read of the Month: “Waters Run Wild,” by Andrea Fekete

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Andrea Fekete’s first novel, Waters Run Wild (Guest Room Press, 2018) is a brutal story of the struggle for equity in the West Virginia coal fields in the industry’s early days. Before federal laws and unions intervened, workers were exploited in every imaginable way. Unions were prohibited, wages were low. […]

“Congratulations, Who Are You Again?” by Harrison Scott Key

Reviewed by J.R. Davidson Harrison Scott Key brought down the West Feliciana Parish [court]house with laughter near the end of his tour promoting The World’s Largest Man.  I was there by myself, having driven the six hours from Birmingham to St. Francisville, Louisiana, for the 2017 Walker Percy Weekend.  I didn’t know anyone going, but […]

“Ashes to Asheville,” by Sarah Dooley

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Ashes to Asheville (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017), Sarah Dooley’s third novel, is a book with appeal for teens as well as adults. In the story two women attempt to create a family unit, each bringing a young daughter into the meld. The family does well together, but the outside world […]