Tag Archives: book review

A little bit of magic on the page: Magic City Gospel

This is a stunning prayer of a book. Jones writes:

Nothing good in life comes without stirring–

the promise of butter, the salty whirring

of pressure in a pot.

These poems stir the pot of history and memory to create word paintings of great beauty and power. Continue reading

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Marriage, Government Folks, and the Devil: Over the Plain Houses

I feel like I know Irenie Lambey, the main character in Julia Franks’ novel Over the Plain Houses. That’s because I grew up on a farm in Southern Appalachia and I knew many women from Irenie’s generation. I have also spent … Continue reading

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The Summer Before the War

Helen Simonson has a gift for dealing with deep issues with a light, deft hand that draws you irresistibly into a story that you suspect might break your heart but also promises hope. Her novels begin as comedies of manners … Continue reading

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Britain Between the World Wars:  The Maisie Dobbs Books        

I met Maisie Dobbs in the stacks at Spartanburg County Public Library in 2003, and she’s been a treasured friend ever since.  Or at least, I’d like to think she’d be a friend if she were a real person and … Continue reading

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The World the Young Folks Wish For and the World that Is: Everyone Brave is Forgiven

British writer Chris Cleave is aptly named. Reading his books will cleave your heart right in two.Everyone Brave is Forgiven will cleave your heart right in two, but it will be worth it. Continue reading

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Antebellum Women Finding Voice: The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

History was one of my favorite subjects in elementary school.  In a previous post, I wrote about working my way through the “Childhood Biographies of Famous Americans” series. After my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Janice Moore, read Caddie Woodlawn aloud … Continue reading

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Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League

        A couple of months ago, my friend Meredith and I attended an author reading by Jonathan O’Dell. O’Dell’s new book, Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League, recounts the story of two Mississippi women, one black and one white, … Continue reading

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“Spinster” and the art of finding your own path

       This blog post marks the first time–well, maybe the second time–I’ve blogged about a non-fiction book, and what a book it is.  Kate Bolick’s memor/cultural study Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own has gotten plenty of … Continue reading

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Wild Times in the City by the Bay: Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music

My husband and I spent spring break exploring San Francisco, one of the loveliest and most fascinating cities in the U.S. So it was a serendipitous surprise when I found that one of the books I chose for vacation reading … Continue reading

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The Textile Strike of 1934 and Power Struggles in the Small-Town South: Fate Moreland’s Widow

John Lane’s richly textured novel Fate Moreland’s Widow brings the cotton mill world of 1930s South Carolina to life in a tale that is part love story, part courtroom thriller, part family saga. Lane sets the story of Ben Crocker, … Continue reading

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