Random House; November 2004
Campbell doesn't have much to live for, except to cash his
paltry pension check, drop in on the occasional AA meeting,
and visit the VA hospital. Dreading another winter in Chicago,
he takes in stride the news that his emphysema will probably
take his life before Christmas. Having no family except an
ex-wife, who has since moved on, Oswald follows his doctor's
advice and spends his final months in a more comfortable climate.
By chance, he ends up in Lost River, Alabama, a sleepy town
with so many single, older women that Frances Cleverdon, a
widow, hopes that Oswald will turn out to be someone's knight
in shining armor. Not quite the Romeo they had hoped for,
Oswald nonetheless is taken under folks' wings. Without noticing
how it happens, Oswald comes to love Lost River, visiting
the town store and the feisty redbird that lives there, waiting
out at the dock for the river-faring postman to bring the
mail, or accepting myriad dinner invitations from the town's
women. Flagg based Lost River on her own hometown, and though
such places may actually exist, there nevertheless is an allegorical
feel to this little tale of hope, friendship, and common decency.
Intended as a Christmas story, it would be readable year-round.
Christmas Song Books
Readers Digest Assn; September 2003
new edition of Merry Christmas Songbook will help you and
your family share the songs and the warmth of this wondrous
time of year. This volume presents 108 favorite holiday songs
and instrumentals, is spiral bound to enable the pages to
lie flat, and includes a companion lyric book.
in the South
Charlene R. McCord & Judy H. Tucker (editors)
Algonquin Books; October 2004
bestselling anthology of outstanding stories and original
watercolors A Very Southern Christmas was an instant hit.
This year Christmas in the South reminds us of the multitude
of emotions that arise as December approaches and the shopping
days decrease, as anticipations and hopes rise about reunions,
renewed vows, charity, and the perfect present. This year's
anthology includes some of the South's finest contemporary
fiction writers: Doris Betts, Larry Brown, Ellen Douglas,
Michael Knight, Clyde Edgerton, Gail Godwin, Jill McCorkle,
Carolyn Haines, Silas House, and Donald Harington. Accompanied
by Wyatt Waters's vibrant watercolors commissioned specifically
for this collection, this beautiful volume, like its predecessor,
promises to be a treasured keepsake.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004