August Read of the Month: “To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts,” by Caitlin Hamilton Summie

Reviewed by Adele Annesi It’s been said we can’t go home again, but home is a stubborn traveler that tags along in our prickliest family and friends, the people we are and become, the places that fill the heart as no one person can. To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts, by Caitlin Hamilton Summie, is […]

“Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald,” by David S. Brown

Reviewed by James Baresel The location in which he placed the first meeting of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Fay is unlikely to be among the best remembers features of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel.  Louisville can seem a random setting for their introduction to each other, chosen for its proximity to the Midwest which was home […]

“The Sisters of Glass Ferry,” by Kim Michele Richardson

Reviewed by Philip K. Jason This spellbinding new novel by the author of Liar’s Bench and GodPretty in the Tobacco Field powerfully blends teenage angst, a rich portrait of the American South, the blessings and curses of twinship, and the inevitably destructive nature of secrets. Ms. Richardson provides rich dosses of sensory imagery, emotional stress, […]

“Dreams of Falling,” by Karen White

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Dreams of Falling showcases Karen White’s considerable talents in a moving multi-generational story of complicated friendships, closely-held secrets, a mysterious fire, and suspicious death. A New York Times best-selling author, White has penned over twenty novels beloved by her fans. Set in Georgetown, South Carolina, Dreams of Falling focuses on two […]

July Read of the Month: “The Disappearing Act,” by Sara Pirkle Hughes

Reviewed by Anya Krugovoy Silver In her consistently outstanding debut volume of poetry, The Disappearing Act, Sara Pirkle Hughes demonstrates her facility with beginnings and endings.  Poems about childhood, family relationships, and the fleeting, fraught nature of sexual desire detail life’s complexities while resisting answers to its mysteries. Hughes writes masterful first and last lines:  […]

“Mourning Dove,” by Claire Fullerton

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard The first sentence of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina states, “Happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” For an author to successfully pen a family saga, she must dig deep into the human psyche, creating a plot beyond simplistic cause-and-effect or peopled with clichéd heroes and villains. […]

June Read of the Month: “The Last Trial,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro In a literary landscape increasingly littered with mediocre (or worse) legal thrillers, Alabama attorney Robert Bailey did something impressive: He wrote an excellent, classic legal thriller with The Last Trial (Thomas and Mercer, May 2018). Its brilliantly complex plot portrays compelling, intriguing characters, pretrial murder and mayhem, courtroom drama, edge-of-your-chair […]

“All That Matters,” by Diane Yates

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard John Steinbeck wrote in East of Eden, “Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” Courage is personified by Clella Catherine Burch, mother of seven children, including author Diane Yates of All That Matters. Burch’s courage, born of a faith-filled family with a strong work ethic from the Missouri Ozarks, sustains her […]