Once in a while the odd thing happens,
Once in a while the dream comes true,
And the whole pattern of life is altered,
Once in a while the moon turns blue.
The tiny Georgia hamlet of Wesleyan is preparing to bury one of its own, and Mother Nature is preparing to cover the entire town in ice. But nobody—well, almost nobody—knows that a source of local tension is about to go nuclear, as someone is planning to topple and destroy the statue of a Confederate general in the park inside the boundaries of Old Man Griffin’s land. “The fight was just getting going good, and now somebody’s declawed the cat.”
This riveting, curiously charming and sometimes hilarious novel is the second by Pamela Terry, whose outstanding debut novel was The Sweet Taste of Muscadines. This one may be even better. My thanks go to Net Galley and Random House Ballantine for the invitation to read and review. This book is for sale now.
With the death of Harry Cline, we find ourselves at his funeral, a massively attended affair. But his wife, Marietta, develops a disabling, blinding migraine, and although they have been on the outs for years, Butter, her (former) best friend, comes to the rescue. By the time they’ve snuck out the side door of the church, we already know at least a little about both women, and now we want to know everything.
With just two novels published, Terry has already proven herself to be among the best authors when it comes to character development. Soon we’ll meet others—Marietta’s obnoxious brother, Macon and his beleaguered wife Glinda, who will have a large part in this story and is one of my favorite characters, as well as a host of others, who have smaller roles but are each so unmistakably established that it’s no work at all to keep track of them. But perhaps her finest achievement here is in creating a masterpiece that is ultimately a feel good book, despite the use of a red hot real world controversy within its pages.
I generally read several books at a time, and this one is the one that I saved for bedtime, because I wanted to be able to read it uninterrupted, and it is the one I wanted in my head when dreams came. It didn’t let me down.
This inspirational work of Southern fiction stands shoulder to shoulder with the finest classics, To Kill a Mockingbird and Fried Green Tomatoes. I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.