March Read of the Month: “A Cuban in Mayberry,” by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

Reviewed by Miles Smith IV When Gustavo Pérez Firmat told a fellow Cubano he planned to write a work on The Andy Griffith Show, his friend lamented that this was an americanada project, meaning that it was typically Anglo-American and beneath a cultured Cubano scholar. Firmat’s project became more than a simple exploration of mid-twentieth […]

“The Ice Garden,” by Moira Crone

Reviewed by Lynn Braxton Moira Crone’s novel, The Ice Garden, set in the town of Fayton, North Carolina, in the early 1960’s, contradicts the prevailing belief that all children are naturally born into a world of blue skies and butterflies where everything is soft and warm. Ten year old Claire McKenzie, the narrator of this […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Robert J. Ernst, author of “The Inside War”

APM: Thanks for taking the time to sit down for this interview, Bob. Your novel The Inside War is about an Appalachian mountain family during the Civil War. How long have you been interested in the Civil War? RJE: I have had an interest in the Civil War for many years. Specifically, the effect of […]

“Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good,” by Jan Karon

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Jan Karon’s Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good is as charming and bright as any book in her Mitford/Father Tim series, and a welcome return to Mitford after Karon’s nine-year hiatus. As with the previous Mitford books, I delighted in every page and found Somewhere Safe a hard to put down. […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Barbara Davis, Author of “The Wishing Tide”

APM:  Through my fault.             Through my fault.             Through my most grievous fault. So opens your novel The Wishing Tide. This refrain is repeated elsewhere in the novel in chapters attributed to the character Mary. It’s a rhythmic reminder, I think, of the crashing and retreating tides of love and life. What about this […]

“The Wishing Tide,” by Barbara Davis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Barbara Davis’s haunting novel, The Wishing Tide, three people allow their troubled pasts to define the present, stripping them of any chance of happiness. Expertly plotted yet character-driven, this lovely book is highly recommended to those who enjoy fine Southern fiction like the novels of Anne Rivers Siddons and Cassandra […]

“The Story Keeper,” by Lisa Wingate

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Escaping the past proves more difficult than New York editor Jen Gibbs thinks in The Story Keeper, Lisa Wingate’s uplifting new novel about a woman’s journey to find a manuscript, and along the way, to reclaim the missing parts of her soul. Jen has barely begun her new job at Vida […]

“Hiding Gladys,” by Lee Mims

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Hiding Gladys, a Cleo Cooper mystery by Lee Mims, reads easily, the pages gliding by in quick succession. Interesting facts about geology weave their way through this debut novel since Cleo is a field geologist. So was the author, lending authenticity to the science behind this entertaining story. But Mims never […]