“Seven Wings to Glory,” by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Kathleen M. Rodgers

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard

Texas author Kathleen M. Rodgers weaves a tale of heartache and triumph for the multigenerational residents of Portion, Texas, in the masterful Seven Wings to Glory.

Portion is a place where the past is the key to the present and strangers become family.  With empathy and a true sense of place, Rodgers examines small town racism, the tragedy and heroism of military life, and the multilayered pain of family secrets.

Readers of Rodgers’s work are welcomed back to the world of Johnnie Kitchen, the protagonist of Johnnie Come Lately and Seven Wings to Glory.  In the sequel, Seven Wings to Glory, Johnnie is by all accounts living a charmed life until her son deploys to Afghanistan.  As communication begins to lapse between the mother and son, Johnnie’s anxiety about his safety magnifies.

One of Rodgers’s greatest gifts as an author is establishing a multilayered plot; here she introduces Whit, an African American friend of Johnnie’s son.  Whit becomes the victim of small town racism in all its ugliness, including slurs and random acts of violence.

Johnnie, a columnist for the Portion newspaper, bravely writes about the racial incidents.  Her newspaper column invites both wisdom and pain, as does the story of Roosevelt, an elderly African American man, whose past is bound up with Portion’s troubling history.

The climax of Seven Wings to Glory features an ethereal scene both moving and satisfying, resolving plot complexities with themes of forgiveness and reconciliation.

An award-winning novelist, Rodgers here provides a soul-satisfying read to fans of Women’s Fiction and Military Fiction.

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  1. I’m so honored by Johnnie Bernhard’s lovely review of my third novel in Southern Literary Review. Thank you so much.

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