Category: Contemporary literary fiction

  • Young love in this world and beyond

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson MY LIFE ON EARTH AND ELSEWHERE. By Peggy Payne. Hydra Publications. 332 pages. $18.99, paperback. Peggy Payne’s new novel is both a bold departure from her past books and another way of exploring the themes that have run through her fiction from the start. Payne, who lives near Chapel Hill, […]

  • Lee Smith alert!

    Once I get over being envious and annoyed that Bob Moyer got hold of this new Lee Smith novel before I did, I will find it and read it. She’s a bright star of contemporary Southern and North Carolina fiction.    Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer.    SILVER ALERT. By Lee Smith. Algonquin Books. 224 […]

  • A North Carolina novel you won’t want to miss

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson INDIGO FIELD. By Marjorie Hudson. Regal House Publishing. 410 pages. $22.95. Marjorie Hudson’s debut novel is so beautifully written, so powerful, so true and so haunting that it’s hard to come up with one adjective sufficient to describe it. Suffice it to say that if you’re making a list of […]

  • When words come to life

    Bob Moyer says a lot in a few words about a book that does the same. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer KICK THE LATCH. By Kathryn Scanlan. New Directions. 144 pages. $17.95. Kathryn Scanlan writes minimalist fiction. Not short stories. Not flash fiction. Minimalist fiction. She eschews verbiage, and dismisses the drape of narrative novelists usually […]

  • Charlie Lovett’s new novel is a thriller, for sure

    Charlie Lovett turns his considerable talents to writing an international thriller, with results that measure up to his fans’ high expectations. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson THE ENIGMA AFFAIR.  By Charlie Lovett. Blackstone Publishing, 350 pages, $26.99, hardcover. Through four fine novels now, Charlie Lovett has proved that he is an imaginative, skilled, thoughtful, intelligent […]

  • A gem of a Southern novel

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson SOUTH OF HEAVEN. By Patti Frye Meredith. Mint Hill Books, Main Street Rag Publishing Company. $17.95, paperback. Patti Frye Meredith’s South of Heaven is a gem of a Southern novel, one of those rare books that captures life in the South with all its contradictions and nuances without turning characters […]

  • Mystery, history and the lives of women

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson ASHTON HALL. By Lauren Belfer. Penguin Random House Audio. Read by Jayne Entwhistle and Kristen Sieh. 12 hours, 38 minutes. Also available in hardback from Ballantine Books. Don’t start listening to (or reading) this book unless you have some time to spare. Once you start, you won’t want to stop. […]

  • Dark, eerie – and beautiful

    Paul O’Connor may have grown up in Connecticut, gone to college in Indiana and spent many productive decades in North Carolina, but there’s a lot of Ireland in him. He’s discovered a book by an Irish author that’s not exactly new – published in 2017 – and not usually what would be Paul’s cup of […]

  • When things get really strange…

    Paul O’Connor reviews a novel that transcends categories while revealing a lot about human nature. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE ANOMALY. By Herve’ Le Tellier. Translated by Adriana Hunter. Other Press. 391 pp. $16.95, softcover. On March 10, 2021, Air France Flight 006, high above international waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, encounters […]

  • Up to the challenge

    Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CLOUD CUCKOO LAND. By Anthony Doerr. Scribner. 622 pages. $30, hardcover. In his latest novel, Anthony Doerr has challenged himself with a monumental task: Establish three distinct storylines, set apart from each other by more than 700 years, two continents and millions of miles of outer space, and then draw […]