I am southern by grace and my roots run deep in the flat lands of North Carolina where I was born and my mama’s people live. When I was ten, we moved north to the mountains of Virginia, home of my daddy’s family and where I’ve lived ever since. I came to the craft of writing in my mid-fifties and found the writing voice that is reflected in my novels. It is southern and lyrical, and always about people who are self-sufficient and hard-working with humble dreams. Welcome to my virtual front-porch, where I share information about my books, and my life as a seasoned author and speaker.
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News|Comments Off on Review: All the Little Hopes by Publishers Weekly
Weiss (If the Creek Don’t Rise) delivers an intriguing coming of age story of two 13-year-old girls whose summer idyll is complicated by mysterious events. Lucy Brown lives on a tobacco farm in Riverton, N.C., in 1943 with her six siblings. She forms a quick friendship with Bert Tucker, who comes to Riverton to stay with her pregnant aunt Violet, whose husband Larry has disappeared, after Bert’s mother dies. Lucy’s mother then brings Bert into the Browns’ home when Violet is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Lucy’s understanding of WWII is based on her knowledge of her older soldier brother, Everett, and of her father’s deal with the U.S. government to provide beeswax. But after Riverton becomes home to a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, Lucy learns firsthand of the war’s divisiveness, as rumors and distrust run rampant through the community. Lucy, an avid Nancy Drew reader, then bands with Bert in an effort solve the mystery of Larry’s disappearance, and of a singer who went missing after performing at a town dance. Weiss expertly highlights how Lucy and Bert’s innocence is altered by their experiences, with spot-on depictions of the rural Southern community. This is magnetic from the start. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher and Co. (July)
News|Comments Off on Audio recording ALL THE LITTLE HOPES from AudioFile
Kate Forbes narrates this tender coming-of-age story set in North Carolina’s tobacco country. When tragedy brings 13-year-old Allie Bert to the home of her unstable aunt, she finds a true friend in Lucy, who aspires to be fearless like her heroine, Nancy Drew. Together, the pair face family worries, mysterious disappearances, and the opening of a Nazi POW camp in their own backyard. Forbes does a beautiful job rendering the soft tones of a North Carolina accent. But Allie and Lucy don’t have much differentiation despite being from different areas and having different backgrounds. Nonetheless, Forbes imbues them both with a delightful mix of innocence, curiosity, and high-spirited independence.
News|Comments Off on Review: ALL THE LITTLE HOPES by Seattle Book Mama
if you love excellent historical fiction, excellent Southern fiction, or excellent literature in general, you should get it sooner rather than later. If you’re stone cold broke, get on the list at your local library. This is one of the year’s best, hands down.