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 […]

“Unsheltered,” by Barbara Kingsolver

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In her latest novel, Unsheltered (Harper Collins, 2018), Barbara Kingsolver pokes a sharp pen deep into the nest of the American dream, stirring up a mound of undelivered promises and discontented characters who scurry about like angry ants. Perhaps, as some critics say, the novel’s characters serve too much as mouthpieces […]

“Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime,” by Cutter Wood

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Even amid high crime statistics and several infamously grisly Florida murders, the 2008 killing at the center of Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018) still drew national attention, including a 2016 feature on NBC’s Dateline. But it wasn’t […]

“The Sound of Holding Your Breath,” by Natalie Sypolt

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore    The title of Natalie Sypolt’s first short story collection, The Sound of Holding Your Breath: Stories, caught my attention. Just what is the sound of holding your breath? According to the young and newly married Marley, the protagonist in the title story, nothingness is the loudest sound in her home. […]

“The Stranger Inside,” by Laura Benedict

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The Stranger Inside (Mulholland Books, 2019) is a big, grand, intelligent thriller by Laura Benedict that will have readers guessing and gasping as they avidly turn the pages. The phrase “the plot thickens” is an understatement with regards to The Stranger Inside. […]

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 […]