Tag Archive: southern



The Book Woman of Troublesome CreekThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite an interesting read. Even though I read these out of sequence, reading book two first, I found I like both stories. They were very similar, and with the same narrator, Katie Schorr, I felt both main characters were the same. Still, when I took a moment, I found my way back to the current person. Her voice fits the characters and keeps the story going.

Until these stories, I don’t think I remember hearing about the blue-skinned people of Kentucky until these books. But what doesn’t surprise me is the bigotry of the willfully ignorant. Though the main character does everything in her power to help others, some see a minor issue as something to hate a person for.

What is fun is watching the main characters of the two books grow in their abilities as librarians, teachers, women, and riders of an onery mule.

This story is worth reading, even if you have to read this out of order.

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The Book Woman's Daughter (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, #2)The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t realize until the author’s note at the end of this book that this is book two of a series. So it can obviously stand alone. I was lucky to find it on Libby as an audiobook. I don’t know if the book reads with quite the accent of the narrator, Katie Schorr, but I think she adds authenticity to the story.

I don’t usually add the blurb about the book but I don’t think I could do the story justice, so:

In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.

Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way.

If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.

It’s worth the read. May I suggest the possibility of triggers in abusive situations? Serious outcomes. But the strength of the young woman as she learns to stand up for herself is amazing.

It is worth the read. Now I am looking up book 1 and hoping it won’t be difficult to go backward. I’ll let you know later.

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Yellow CrocusYellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished listening to this a few nights ago. I still feel warm and fuzzy from the experience. No, it isn’t all a cozy read. But the author went into the characters’ psychology in a way that women. mothers could feel. Most of us haven’t had to experience this kind of life. But it doesn’t take a lot to feel how it might affect us. And how it could mess up the children.

Bahni Turpin (Narrator) was marvelous. I could listen to her voice all day, especially when she would sing lullabies. She expressed emotions fully. And get ready to be angry, and make sure to bring the Kleenex.

This is a beautiful read. I was able to hear the Audible version. But I could have read the Kindle version as I had it for quite a while.

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Out of the PastOut of the Past by Glenda Poulter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you like ghost stories? Well, here’s one with a little different take on the theme. Of course, it involves the south and the old homes found there, and the antiques. Made me wish I was actually there.

I don’t have a fear of ghosts. I feel I have seen, and even felt a couple in my days. No biggie. They are just folks with left-over things to do. So the angst and sorrow the main character shows is far too repetitive. I suppose that was to build some suspense. But I just wanted to see where the story went and get off of a poor woman in distress of apparitions and dreams.

The story kept me interested and I wanted to see how it all would work out. The thing about ghosts stories is that they are stories within stories. In this case, the antique dealers, who happen to be gay, and of the present, seek out the possessed things and places of the past. Once the stories start emerging I really grew to love all the characters and the place itself.

So if you want to go seek out the past and see what the south has to offer, check this book out.

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Five Minutes in HeavenFive Minutes in Heaven by Lisa Alther

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a ride! Not exactly rollercoaster, but not merry-go-round either. From the beginning, I like the main character, Jude. She is one who doesn’t belong in the world, but finds her way, anyway. She is flawed and confused, with good reasons. I wanted to root for her to win each of her obstacles.

From Tennessee to New York to France and back, Jude struggles with her demons, longing for love to return to her as pure as she put it out. Rarely does it find her. Mostly because of her own insecurities and lack of role-models, love floats out as a fantasy. Never to be achieved.

I picked this version of the book up from Amazon, Kindle Unlimited (which is in fact limited, as you can only have ten ‘checked out’ at a time). I kind of wished I had the Audible version or the Whispersync to go along, but I managed okay without.

My biggest complaint is the French. Not the people. Just the use of the language with no definitions available to the reader. If you only took Latin, Spanish and German in your language classes, French isn’t a language you even have books for. At least that’s how it is in my house. So I had to ignore the language and hoped to get the gist. I hate when authors do that to the reader. It stinks of a superiority to the reader. It wasn’t necessary. If you are conveying a story to the reader. and most of the book is in English, why not continue in that language in the last third of the book?

And the ending? Wish I had been given a grown up, matured, version of Jude when she comes home at last! The last part ended in the same way, that the other two sections had ended. Wondering what next. Still, it was worth the read.

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Original SinsOriginal Sins by Lisa Alther

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, let me tell you, I read books for escape. But sometimes, I might learn a thing or two. And it is with a humble acknowledgement that I gave this book three stars.

Look, I lived through the 1960s and feel that nowadays we have reverted back to the 1860s so revisiting all the bigotry and misogyny of the country through this book during a time when cops shoot kids because of their menacing faces in real life, and reading this nonsense as my escape–well, let’s just say the truth. I nearly threw this book away for most of the first 40%. Then at 43-46% I was ready to be finished as the pages were repeated and out of order. But somehow I was drawn in like vampire to a train wreck??? So much was wrong I hoped there was a single drop I could glean from it.

Okay, this should be required reading for everyone in high school. It could be used to teach English. Look, I understand making the characters sound a certain way but to continue beyond the dialogue was horrid! Then you could use the book to teach patience and tolerance about people who may seem like they are different. Then use it in a Sex Ed. class to show what not to do. Then for a feminism classes to show men and women what not to expect.

I am so glad I didn’t buy this book. I picked it up through Kindle Unlimited. I know a lot of people loved this book. It was through a book group who recommended this to me that I read it. I feel no closer to a truth or an escape having gone through this. And that makes me feel horrid. Sorry.

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KinflicksKinflicks by Lisa Alther

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended by a GoodReads group I belong to.

Once, again, I finished a book when I wasn’t able to write the review. Now in the midst of the current read, I have to remember the feelings of the previous literary adventure.

Let’s work backward. I felt the ending left much to be desired. Even though this is a hefty novel, I wanted to know what happened next. Is it possible there is a part two out there?

Okay, now it is coming back to me. I remember this getting off to a slow start. I wanted to move on to other reads. But there was something about the main character that had me curious to see what this was all about.

Oh, and the problem of POV and changing from first to third person. Argh! I couldn’t figure it out. It seemed like a mistake but then I read some of the reviews on GoodReads and realized that it was a tool used to separate then and now. Still, I could have done without that shifting.

I loved the dark, death themes that this family seemed involved in. Notice the word ‘seemed’, as in the end that might be questioned.

This was a coming of age story. Yet it involves a lot of the human experience, old amd young alike. I would think this would be best read by new adults or older, younger readers might not recognize the rebelious nature presented.

And we’ve come full circle… In the end, I was very glad to have read it, experienced life from another’s eyes. Now I need to see if I can get ahold of a sequel.

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