“Secrets of the Devil Vine,” by Faith Kaiser

Reviewed by Heather Newcomb Secrets of the Devil Vine is a homecoming narrative, but the home here is built on greed, secrets and abuse. The main character, Abigail Stewart—whose keen point of view drives the plot—returns home to coastal Alabama to seek answers to difficult questions from her childhood. Abby’s search takes readers on a […]

“The Guests on South Battery,” by Karen White

Reviewed by Laura Aluise “There is no escaping the dead. On the slender peninsula that is Charleston, we cannot help being surrounded by them, packed as they are into ancient cemeteries behind ornate iron fencing, beneath our streets, under our homes, and parking garages. Most residents of the Holy City are blissfully unaware of its […]

July Read of the Month: “The Archive of Alternative Endings,” by Lindsey Drager

Reviewed by Donna Meredith How to describe it? Exquisite. Literary. Experimental. Perfect in its own unique way, The Archive of Alternative Endings is unlike any other novel I’ve ever read. It’s different. Really different. It doesn’t have a plot, not in the usual sense. The characters don’t invite you to crawl into their skin, walk […]

“The Book of Cain,” by Jeff Lowe

Reviewed by Joshua S. Fullman  The story of Cain’s slaying of his brother and fall from grace stands as one of the great myths of the human condition. It rightly claims envy the source of nearly all interpersonal conflict, pitting us against one another for property, position, and approval. Further, it relates the origin of […]

“The Rising Place,” by David Armstrong

Review by Philip K. Jason The premise of this highly original novel is as follows: A young lawyer has moved to Hamilton, Mississippi to begin his career. His first job is to draft a will for a seventy-five-year old spinster named Emily Hodge. Emily has spent her life in this town. She is well-known, but […]

“The Orphan of Pitigliano,” by Marina Brown

Reviewed by Donna Meredith  Marina Brown’s The Orphan of Pitigliano is a feast of Old World mystery and magic, betrayal and heartbreak, sin and redemption. Readers who enjoyed Helen Wecker’s best-selling novel, The Golem and the Jinni, will like Brown’s tale, which also blends Jewish myth into the historical novel. Brown paints her stunning story […]

“The Water Keeper,” by Charles Martin

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Best-selling author Charles Martin’s newest book, The Water Keeper (Thomas Nelson May 2020), is a compelling classic thriller—with more than one sudden turn and several surprising twists. On the most basic level, it operates like most modern thrillers with plenty of edge-of-your-seat suspense, action, danger, violence, and death-defying moments. The […]

“Bead by Bead,” by Suzanne Henley

Reviewed by Susan Cushman In 2013 I was in a life-threatening car wreck. I broke my neck, right leg, and ankle, and was stuck in my house for the first few months of my recovery. One day Suzanne Henley came to see me and brought me a beautiful necklace she had made from exotic beads […]