Donna Meredith Interviews Betsy Reeder

Donna Meredith interviews Betsy Reeder for Southern Literary Review. Reeder is the author of an historical trilogy: Madam’s Creek (2017), Broomstraw Ridge (2019), and her latest, Salt in Boiling Water (2022). These stories center around the lives and loves of characters caught up in vivid events of the Civil War and its aftermath in southern […]

SLR Interviews Janisse Ray, Author of “Wild Spectacle”

“Matrix,” by Lauren Groff

      Reviewed by Donna Meredith Gainesville, Florida, author Lauren Groff is a rising star in the world of fiction writers. She has written six award-winning books, most recently the novel Matrix (Riverhead Books, 2021) and the short story collection Florida (Riverhead Books, 2018). These two works showcase the author’s breadth and depth with […]

“Voice Lessons” by Karen Salyer McElmurray

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The sixteen essays in Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Voice Lessons are best savored one at a time, with deep breaths and pauses between readings to let the author’s soul and pain and voice seep into your bones. Her writing employs the best of creative nonfiction techniques, wheeling between subjects, then returning to […]

“With Teeth,” by Kristen Arnett

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Kristen Arnett’s novel With Teeth (Riverhead Books, 2021) is a literary novel that bites. From the first scenes, it sinks its teeth in and refuses to let go. Yet it is a deeply troubling read. It left me wondering if some women, like the protagonist Sammie, might be born without mothering […]

August Read of the Month: “Wayward Girls,” by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel

Reviewed by Donna Meredith What dark secrets lurk behind the walls of Talbot Hall for Girls? Which adults might prove allies of the teens—and which ones can’t be trusted? Can the girls even trust each other? Sizzling with tension and intriguing characters, Wayward Girls, by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel, is set in a creepy […]

June Read of the Month: “Coyote Loop,” by L. C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you like larger-than-life, irascible, narcissistic, rich, foul-mouthed muckspouts—think Tony Soprano—you will like the narrator of L. C. Fiore’s Coyote Loop. Granted, the setting is totally different. The trading floor of a Chicago Board Options Exchange. The beginning of the 2008 recession. But John Andrew Ganzi, also known as JAG, rules […]

May Read of the Month: “The Tender Grave,” by Sheri Reynolds

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Tender Grave, by Sheri Reynolds, not only offers interesting characters and strong imagery, but it also builds an unusual level of tension and suspense for a literary novel. Witness this early passage: She hadn’t been to bed, not all night, and though she’d brushed her teeth before she left, her […]