“A Literary Life of Sutton E. Griggs: The Man on the Firing Line” by John Cullen Gruesser

Thorough research underpins John Cullen Gruesser’s A Literary Life of Sutton E. Griggs (Oxford University Press, 2022)—and every serious student of Black literature will want to read this biography of an important figure in American history. While the book’s main focus is on Griggs’s writings, it also covers his family and his contributions to the […]

“Wish Me Joy, West Virginia” by Valerie Banfield

Those who enjoyed Catherine Marshall’s Christy will enjoy the way faith is incorporated into Valerie Banfield’s Wish Me Joy, West Virginia. Those who enjoyed Kim Michele Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and Donna Everhart’s The Saints of Swallow Hill will like way Banfield delivers the historical aspects of a small town. And anyone […]

“Song of the Chimney Sweep,” by Tamatha Cain

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The rich musical history of Jacksonville, Florida, provides an appealing backdrop for Tamatha Cain’s debut novel Song of the Chimney Sweep (Orange Blossom Publishing, August 2022). R&B, jazz, and rock stars with Jacksonville roots making appearances include the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ray Charles, Ma Rainey, Blind Blake, and James Weldon […]

“Still Breathing: My Journey with Love, Loss, and Reinvention,” by Katie Joy Duke

Reviewed by Donna Meredith A memoir centered around a stillbirth hardly sounds as if it could be full of light and spiritually uplifting, but that’s exactly what Katie Joy Duke’s story Still Breathing: My Journey with Love, Loss, and Reinvention (New Degree Press, May 2022) is. Stillbirth is far more prevalent than most realize, affecting […]

“Crooked Truth,” by Kristine F. Anderson

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks Reviewed by Donna Meredith Crooked Truth, (Mercer University Press, 2020) Kristine F. Anderson’s outstanding debut novel, asks an important question: how much do we owe our family? Must we sacrifice all our hopes and dreams to accommodate them? The complex examination of one family’s […]

May Read of the Month: “In the Lonely Backwater,” by Valerie Nieman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In the Lonely Backwater (Regal House Publishing, 2022) would be a grand read if it were only a clever psychological mystery or simply a unique coming-of-age story, but Valerie Nieman achieves so much more than that. With gorgeous description and elegant prose, Nieman transforms a North Carolina village and marina into […]