One of the most interesting things about a collection of short stories by the same author is following the progression of skill and tone. Since most of these collections are written over a greater period of time, I often find myself reading a short story and wondering what was happening in the author's life to inspire a plot, a character, a voice. This is certainly the case in Delta Pearls, a book by Judith Bader Jones, published by Sweetgum Press.
Winner of the 2007 William Rockhill Nelson Award in fiction, Delta Pearls is a book of shorts set in the Missouri Delta. The stories are written in a variety of time periods, and every one shares the spirit of the South. If Hallmark commercials get you teary, then several of these tales will have you reaching for the box of tissues also. Most of the stories have a positive heartwarming feel, but my favorites were more bittersweet. In fact, I daresay my favorites were most likely those which were gleaned from the author's personal experience; there were several that stood out above and beyond the others, with extra heart and soul woven in.
My favorite story of all? A Family Gathering. If Bader Jones chooses to write a full novel, she could expand on the characters in this book and easily keep the readers' attention.
The great news is I have an extra copy here to give away! If you're subscribed to carp(e) libris, you're already entered to win. If you haven't yet subscribed, please do so in the bar on the left for your chance at a copy of Delta Pearls. As long as you're subscribed, you're automatically entered into all my book giveaways. For a second entry, please leave me a comment at this post telling me what intrigues you about Delta Pearls. If you post a link to this drawing on your blog, I'll even throw in a third entry! Just be sure to let me know in the comments, or email me at themommyspot(at)gmail(dot)com. A winner will be chosen Monday, January 7th, 12:00 noon EST. I'll notify the winner by email, so please make sure themommyspot(at)gmail(dot)com is in your address book.
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