“Rising and Other Stories,” by Gale Massey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Gale Massey burst into the literary scene two years ago with her acclaimed debut novel, The Girl from Blind River (Crooked Lane), which won a 2018 Florida Book Award, among other accolades. Prior to that novel, some prestigious publications had published her short stories. So it’s no surprise to see […]

February Read of the Month: “Goshen Road,” by Bonnie Proudfoot

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Bonnie Proudfoot’s Goshen Road dives deep into West Virginia rural life with a tale that sweeps across multiple generations. The novel has been selected for the Women’s National Book Association’s Great Group Reads program and is longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best Debut Novel. The novel provides multiple viewpoints, […]

“Wanting Radiance,” by Karen Salyer McElmurray

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The pages of Wanting Radiance, a luscious literary novel by Karen Salyer McElmurray, are haunted by characters yearning for love—or something else they can’t quite name. As Ruby Loving says, she is “hungry and what she wanted was a miracle to fill her up.” Her daughter Miracelle thinks the emptiness might […]

“The Good Luck Stone,” by Heather Bell Adams

To an outsider, ninety-year-old Audrey Thorpe’s life appears to resemble a fairytale nearing its end, the only conflict caused by her granddaughter Deanna, who thinks Audrey should no longer live alone. But the protagonist in Heather Bell Adams’s novel, The Good Luck Stone, (Haywire Books 2020) is burdened by a dark secret and crippling guilt […]

“Saving Tyler Hake,” by Meredith Sue Willis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Although the title might lead a potential reader to think this novella is mostly about one young man, it is not. Saving Tyler Hake, by Meredith Sue Willis, paints a vivid portrait of small town life: the complicated relationships of people who have known each other since childhood and newcomers trying […]

“Even As We Breathe,” by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Infused with Cherokee myth and the history of North Carolina’s famous Grove Park Inn, Even As We Breathe is a stunningly beautiful coming-of-age novel. With its publication, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle joins Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, and Leslie Marmon Silko as a new and important voice in Native American […]

“The Other Morgans,” by Carter Taylor Seaton

Reviewed by Donna Meredith When readers first encounter AJ Porter in Carter Taylor Seaton’s novel The Other Morgans, they would be forgiven for judging AJ with a critical eye. The college dropout lives in a rural region of southern West Virginia, can’t pay her taxes, and uses grammar certain to make every teacher flinch. At […]

Southern Literary Review interviews North Carolina author Annette Clapsaddle