The book this week is neither a historical nor a romance. I met Sonny Sammons this past April at the North Texas Book Festival and I have to say that he could charm the gold right out of my teeth if I had any, gold that is. He spoke in a slow Southern drawl that made me think of sweet iced tea, big porches and pecan pie. But he comes by his accent honest since he hails from the great state of Georgia. I love this book. Sonny is quite a storyteller and this is based on a true family story. His writing style is reminiscent of Mark Twain, Eudora Welty and Olive Ann Burns. It’s very entertaining. Maybe you’ll give it a try.
Set in rural Georgia during the late 1940s, this tells the tale of a family–a young boy, his widowed mother, two widowed grandfathers and their lady friends. It’s filled with southern-style preachers, a talented country singer and a sprinkling of politicians, including a governor whose campaigns are always a little short.
After Grandfather Luke’s daughter is horribly abused, her husband is found dead and Grandfather Luke finds himself sentenced to death in Georgia’s electric chair. The newspaper called it a Death Watch.
Waiting for midnight.
Midnight in Reidsville.
This story is heartwarming and at times humorous as the community rallies around Luke and his family.
Here’s a short excerpt:
The long funeral procession drove away from the small Baptist church as slow as the pace of a man afoot, and one not in a particular hurry. The mourners had suffered through a grueling forty-five minutes of fist-pounding hellfire and damnation from the Reverend W.R. Cauley, and each came from the church pulling at a tight collar or restrictive corset. Occasionally, the reverend had called on God to pave the way for this less-than-perfect subject lying in the casket, to enter the gates that St. Peter corporaled. Mostly he was preaching to scare the bejesus out of the live ones.
I was six years old. I was also the center of attention this particular moment. The year was 1944 and World War II was a thousand days old. My father had died in the Pacific theater twenty-one days earlier, in the Mariana Islands. The rosewood coffin that held center stage in front of Reverend Cauley’s pulpit, flag-draped and claiming to contain my father’s remains, had been borne by six men to a waiting hearse, which preceded our car in the funeral procession.
Here’s the Amazon link: http://amzn.com/0877972818
I’ll give away another $10 Amazon gift card on Saturday to someone who comments.