FAYE DASE: N.C. Author's Book Quickly Grabs Reader
I'm continuing to discover North Carolina writers and am pleased to add Theresa Cocolin to my list.
"The Last Rose of Summer," (Lulu, 2008, $ 23.55), written by an author who was born near Pinehurst, was filled with surprises. I didn't expect it to grab my attention so fast and hold it so long that I had to read it in one sitting. Inspired by the true story of a local girl who murdered her father, Cocolin is quick to say that she created an imaginery story since she didn't know any details.
Mandy Stewart lives with her parents and brothers on a family farm. World War II gives her brothers the opportunity to leave home, but Mandy just knows that she will be there forever. When Mandy's mother dies unexpectedly of a stroke, life on the farm gets unbearable in more ways than one.
With characters you like and a couple you like to hate, this book offers a good yarn.
Cocolin now lives in Harnett County where she writes a weekly column for The Harnett County News. Mount Olive Press will publish a volume of her poems next year.
Another book that I truly enjoyed recently is "A Year on Ladybug Farm," by Donna Ball (Berkley Trade, 2009, $14). It is a hilarious and heart-warming story about three women in their 50s who go in together to buy an old house in the country.
As one might imagine, restoring an old house is a challenge, and Cici, Bridget, and Lindsay rise to the occasion in spite of the problems, learning a lot about themselves in the process.
I can see this book becoming a film for either the big or small screen. Maybe some smart screenwriter has already spotted this wonderful tale.
In my opinion, Rosina Lippi has scored with "The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square" (Berkley Trade, 2009, $14), a novel set in a small town in South Carolina where everyone knows your name -- and all of your business.
Julia Darrow moves to town from Chicago to open a shop specializing in luxury linens, and five years later is wearing designer pjs all the time -- even during working hours.
When John Dodge comes to town, he's only planning on a temporary residency, but will his interest in Julia change his mind?
This little volume is filled with some of the quirkiest and best characters ever.
So far, it's made the short list for my best books for the year.
"The Lost Hours," by Karen White (NAL/Accent, 2009, $15) also makes my list.
The novel is set in the South and tells the story of Piper Mills, who as an adult, has returned to the family home. Her grandfather is dead, and her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, is in a nursing home.
Piper was always closer to her grandfather and now finds that she regrets not really knowing her grandmother. When she receives a charm that belonged to her grandmother, her curiosity takes over, and Piper keeps digging (literally) until she finds a box buried several years earlier.
Her search for answers leads her to the last of her grandmother's surviving friends, who obviously knows more than she is telling.
In learning about her grandmother's past, Piper also learns about herself.
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com or 693-2745.
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