Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

For almost 40 years, Kate ignored the son she abandoned as a baby; now, in an attempt to win his love, she tells her story. (My 15 86)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This marvelously wrought first-person narrative presents a likable character in Kate Vaiden, who, at age 57, looks back over her life of hard knocks and asserts her pride in having stayed afloat. (My 15 86)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kate Vaiden's story is set in Price's Macon, North Carolina, a small town where a young girl could walk alone safely because ``There were killings and rapes but never by strangers, always family members.'' Kate gives an honest account of herself as a daughter, niece, young woman, and mother, inducing the reader to like her in spite of her flaws, which abound. The language is richhugging the recalcitrant black cook is like embracing ``a tall thicket of polished broomsticks''but not ostentatious. Price has been labeled a ``Southern writer,'' and he certainly is that, but it would be a shame if his audience were limited to those with an academic interest in Southern literature. He is a fine storyteller whose work may have its strongest appeal among Southerners, but librarians should make Kate Vaiden available to general readers everywhere.Mary K. Prokop, CEL Regional Lib., Savannah, Ga. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Price's new novel again is enhanced by a Southern setting, and his art as a writer transforms a rather cliched tale of an orphaned girl who never attains the capacity for love into a compelling story. From the vantage point of middle age, narrator Kate Vaiden looks back at her life, shattered at the age of 11 by the suicide-murder of her parents. She is raised by her loving aunt and uncle, who themselves have not been successful at parenting. Her cousin Swift is the serpent in Kate's future happiness. A true viper, he poisons the fond memory Kate has of her high school lover, a casualty in the first world war, and impels her to leave home. A succession of other emotional orphans become fellow wanderers through Kate's peripatetic existence. When she has a son out of wedlock, she lacks the maternal urge and abandons him to the same relatives who raised her. Thirty-five years later, she tries to discover his fate. Price's (The Source of Light) lyrical prose, blossoming with felicitous imagery and authentically grounded in the regional cadences of the characters' speech, holds the magic of a true raconteur. Though it tends toward melodrama and has some lapses in credibility, this is a touching, engrossing narrative by one of our most gifted writers. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved