“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 […]

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 […]

“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, […]

Donna Meredith Interviews Allen Mendenhall, Editor of “Writers on Writing”

DM:  Thanks for taking time from your very busy life to be interviewed. You are an associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty, and editor of Southern Literary Review. You blog at The Literary Lawyer. Your books include Literature and Liberty (2014), Oliver […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Donna Meredith Reviews books by Geneva Cobb Moore and Boyd Creasman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith

“How We Came To Be,” by Johnnie Bernhard

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Forget the Father Knows Best clichés of the 1950s—they are so yesterday. Set in contemporary Houston and Austin, How We Came To Be (Texas Review Press, 2018) is a witty, insightful study of the forging of a twenty-first century family. A finalist in the 2017 International Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, the novel was […]