“The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes,” by Williams Rawlings

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, by William Rawlings, would be a great read if only because it presents a richly layered mystery and a wronged protagonist deserving of much more than the world has handed him. But the novel is so much more than that. Rawlings took the historic Savannah setting […]

“Rich crop of women’s anthologies published in 2019, the International Year of the Woman,” Essay by Donna Meredith

Essay by Donna Meredith  Maybe they arose from the Fourth Wave of feminism that took hold in 2013, a movement focused on female empowerment. Perhaps they were further nourished by the “Me Too” movement that arose in 2017. No matter the source of inspiration, two important new collections of works by women found their way […]

April Read of the Month: “To the Bones,” by Valerie Nieman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Edgy suspense, Scottish paranormal legend, and a beautiful river transformed into a wicked orange brew—these ingredients in the skilled hands of journalist Valerie Nieman create a whip-smart novel, To the Bones (West Virginia University Press, 2019). The story presents a classic hero’s quest in which an ordinary person discovers new strengths […]

March Read of the Month: “A Spy in the House of Anais Nin,” by Kim Krizan

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Confession: I have only read one volume by Anais Nin. That was decades ago when I was in college and I don’t recall the title. The stories provoked a wide range of emotions. I was alternately shocked, titillated, appalled, and aroused by the content. Although I admired Nin’s storytelling ability and […]

“Their Houses,” by Meredith Sue Willis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The richly drawn characters in Meredith Sue Willis’s latest novel, Their Houses, are stumbling about in an effort to meet one of the most basic needs Maslow identifies in his famous hierarchy, a need which must be met before people can move on to find love, esteem, and self actualization. They […]

“Don’t Tell ’em You’re Cold: A Memoir of Poverty and Resilience,” by Katherine P. Manley

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Many times while growing up, Kathy Manley experienced the shame of poverty. Shame that kept her from inviting friends to the family’s shabby house filled with dumpster-salvaged furniture. Shame when a teacher took up a collection from classmates so Kathy could attend a football game. The real shame, however, is that […]

“Blood Creek,” by Kimberly Collins

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Kimberly Collins deftly plants the vicious Paint-Creek/Cabin Creek coal wars at the heart of the first installment in her Mingo Chronicles historical series. The novel is titled Blood Creek (Blue Mingo Press, 2019). While the West Virginia and Kentucky mine wars have been the focus of both fiction and nonfiction, Collins […]

“A Pure Heart,” by Rajia Hassib

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Rajia Hassib’s A Pure Heart (Viking, 2019), characters present different versions of themselves, depending on where they are and whom they are with—as we all do. The result is multi-faceted characters with secrets kept even from closest friends and family. Hassib’s novel shines as one of the finest explorations of […]