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In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

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About the Book

Title: In High Cotton

Author: Ane Mullligan

Publisher: Heritage Beacon Press

Released: August 3, 2020

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

My Review

This title puzzled me from the get-go. What could Ane Mulligan mean by “In High Cotton”? I quickly discovered that this is the story of single mother, Maggie Parker, and her seven-year-old son who live in the small Georgia town of Rivers End in 1929. (Points to Ane Mulligan for the town map at the front of the book.) I was relieved to see Ms. Mulligan capture my attention almost against my will, since the Depression is not one of my favorite historical eras.
But present it well, she did. The small town has some big-hearted people, like Sadie and Mama Faylene and Wade, and even little Barry. It also has some small-hearted people, who can’t see beyond the color of one’s skin, one’s gender, or their own ambition. Mulligan balances out the town’s population with enough of these that Maggie must constantly watch her back and her store.

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But this is a novel to be loved for so many things. Maggie’s story is one of most unique and compelling voices I’ve read in 2020!! I loved how Maggie keeps reaching out to help people, because they have needs apparent in front of her, even as her store is struggling. As Sadie would say, “Southern women may seem as delicate as flowers, but we’ve got iron in our veins.” The metal (mettle) of these ladies is truly glorious to behold, whether it is Maggie or Sadie challenging Cal;
the transformation of a surprising character; or Mama Faylene quietly standing up to the worst of the lot.

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Reminiscent of the movie, Steel Magnolias, you will want to have your tissues ready, but also keep an eye out for the wonderful humor, funny sayings and colloquialisms of the time. By the time you close the book, your heart may feel like you, too, are In High Cotton! Mine did.
Themes include finding true family, trusting God, and standing tall against evil, together. If only Ms. Mulligan’s map had shown how to get to River’s End.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.
 

 

My Rating

5 Stars- Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

8061216I’ve been a voracious reader ever since my mother instilled within me her own love of reading at an early age. Together we would escape together into worlds otherwise unknown.

A new love entered my life when I saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN. Struck with a fever from which I never recovered, I submerged myself in drama through high school and college, but, alas, Broadway never found my phone number.

While a large, floppy straw hat is my favorite, I’ve worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), business manager, creative arts director and writer. My lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for my Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast).

I wrote and published my first script in 1996 and to date have over 4-dozen scripts in print, nine books, and numerous articles on various aspects of Christian drama and the craft of writing. In Jan of 2003, having quit my job with my husband’s encouragement, I began to write full time. I reside in Sugar Hill, Georgia with my artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler.

You can connect with Ane at

https://www.anemulligan.com

https://goodreads.com/anemulligan

 

 

Celebrate Lit Tour

Hugo: Inspiring Southern Ambiance for Christian Readers (Painter Place Saga #2) by Pamela Poole

tag for Hugo

About the Book

 

                                                                               

                                                                               Title: Hugo: Inspiring Southern Ambiance for Christian Readers (Painter Place #2)36538480._SY475_

Author: Pamela Poole

Publisher: Southern Sky Publisher

Released: October, 2017

September 21, 1989: Some monsters in the dark are real. Can Painter Place survive?

Hurricane Hugo came in the dead of night, slamming Category 4 power into Charleston, South Carolina at the worst possible time–high tide. Painter Place is scoured by the writhing Atlantic storm surge, forcing Caroline Painter Gregory to say goodbye to a life she loves and face a future that may hold the worst that can possibly happen. On the devastated South Carolina coastline of 1989 and then in Arles, France during the centennial of Van Gogh’s life there, Hugo continues the saga of Painter Place.

My Review

So, I wanted to see what the hype was about The Painter Place novels by Pamela Poole. Hugo, the novel I read, is the second in the Painter Place Saga.
I was excited to see a map at the front. Kudos! The forward, which many readers skip, was fascinating. The novel is set in September of 1989, a year I well remember.
“Saga” is a good word for this series, as it obviously involves quite a few people and their extended families. No two-dimensional characters here. Although, I rather wish there had been. There are so many people the story whips around and in between, I had trouble keeping them straight. By fleshing out so many characters so well, it was hard to focus on who the main characters really were.
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This is a very turbulent narrative of a family in tumultuous times. At times I could identify with the characters, but many times their solutions made me feel like the average person would have not had those options, and would have been required to slog through those times without getting away. Would the characters still have come out as stronger survivors?
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Poole packs a boat-load of truth into her book. I think I might have preferred only a few problems to be solved than several that meant there was an abundance of philosophizing and Bible explanation throughout the tale. Trying to balance story and truth, that is a hard feat to accomplish.
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Quotable:
“That’s always the bottom line, isn’t it? No matter what a person accomplished, it has to end, and it turns out that the most important thing wasn’t what they left behind. It was where they’d spend eternity.”
As I finished the book, I wondered if it might appeal most to twenty-something readers. Or I may be one of a few who is not a huge fan. Try Hugo for yourself and let me know your thoughts.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are solely my own.

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-star

About the Author

“Inspiring Southern Ambiance”  pamela poole

Pamela Poole is an artist and author currently living in Raleigh, NC with her husband Mark, but they dream of moving back to the coast someday. Pamela’s love of living in the South is lavished into her creative subject matter. She believes that art and stories are only worthwhile when they are filled with beauty and hope that survive in spite of all life’s challenges.

Pamela is a member of various author and artist organizations. Her FREE painting demos can be found on her YouTube channel, and FREE coloring pages can be downloaded from her websites. Stay up to date with Pamela Poole Fine Art and Southern Sky Publishing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Pamela Poole Art on YouTube.