The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
A gritty and tragic tale of a group of Black Seminoles attempting to settle in the territory of Oklahoma. Some within the community see Refuge as just that–a refuge from the violence of white pursuers. Others see marketable potential in Refuge, and have ambitions to expand and put the wealth into the pockets of the oppressed, for once, and create more lasting change for their people. But when a ragtag group of Buffalo soldiers come to town, choosing sides becomes more complicated. Refuge is a bit of a counter-narrative western with a slow-burn, tension-filled story that pays off in an action-packed conclusion.
Refuge by Bill Campbell, (List Price: $19.95, Rosarium Publishing, 9780578391533, February 2023)
Reviewed by Sam Edge, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title
I inhaled this propulsive and inventive story of a reimagined American West in the late 1800s. Ada, a midwife who finds herself unable to get pregnant is facing expulsion (or worse) in her village. She falls in with a charismatic outlaw named Kid and is whisked into a gang filled with autonomous women. Escapades ensue. Great writing, strong characters and a plot that moves along in a book that comes in just under 300 pages. Very impressive! I definitely recommend this genderbent Hole in the Wall Gang reimagining!
Outlawed by Anna North (List Price: $26, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635575422, 1/5/2021)
Reviewed by Chelsea Bauer, union ave books in knoxville, Tennessee
It is 1909 in Spokane, WA, and orphaned brothers Gig and Rye Dolan are barely surviving day to day…taking odd jobs where they can find them and hopping trains to get from place to place. When older brother Gig gets involved in the IWW union and gets himself in trouble, 16-year-old Rye picks up where he left off and finds himself deeply entangled in the dirty business of brutal police, deal-making, and shady businessmen. You really do become invested in the characters as you’re drawn deeper into their stories of desperation, hard times, and brotherhood. If you liked Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach or Paulette Jiles’s News of the World, this book is for you!
The Cold Millions by Jess Walter (List Price: $28.99, Harper, 9780062868084, 10/27/2020)
Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia