August Read of the Month: “The Nickel Boys,” by Colson Whitehead

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Colson Whitehead once more proves the sheer power of his talent with The Nickel Boys (Doubleday, 2019), a heartbreaking, chilling story about an innocent black youth sent to a hellish reform school in North Florida during the Jim Crow days. While the book is fiction, what makes it so devastating […]

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 […]

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 […]

May Read of the Month: “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” by Kim Michele Richardson

Reviewed by Philip K. Jason  Readers are likely to find Ms. Richardson’s fourth novel to be one of the most original and unusual contributions they will encounter in the realm of the current literature of the American South. Set in the heart of the Great Depression, this engaging story rests on two little-known historical features. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

January Read of the Month: “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens

Reviewed by Donna Meredith With gorgeous imagery and breathtaking detail, Delia Owens perfectly captures the exquisite song of the North Carolina coastal marsh and all its creatures in her debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. Not since Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides has there been a love song to the low country as poignant. And […]