I’ve been fortunate to have had some very nice reviews of my books. Library Journal had some nice things to say, and there are several lovely reviews on Amazon.com and GoodReads. Not to mention blog reviews scattered around the web.
But on Friday evening I got my BEST review. I’d given a copy of Miracle in a Dry Season to our 93-year-old neighbor Bill. I didn’t know if he would read it, but I wanted him to have a copy. Well, he called on Friday to let me know he’d finished the book.
He said he hadn’t really felt like reading lately, but he decided it was time to tackle my novel. And he read it straight through. Bill was born in 1921, just two years after the fictitious Casewell Phillips. And he grew up on a farm in Virginia where he often rode a blind horse (a story for another time).
“It reminded me of those days on the farm,” Bill said. “Except for one thing.”
Uh-oh, I thought, I got something wrong.
“There was a whole lot more forgiveness in the book,” he said with a laugh.
Bill went on to ask if I’d meant for readers to cry at the story. I said I thought it was a fine way to react. “I shed a few tears. It just seemed like the thing to do,” he said and I got a little teary myself.
I think Bill’s “review” of Miracle in a Dry Season means so much to me because he represents the generation of my family that’s gone now. I would have loved to give a copy to Grandma Burla, Aunt Bess, my great Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Willis, Grandma Ginny–people who deeply influenced my writing and the stories I tell. They’re all gone now, but Bill, he’s just up the hill and he cried when he read my book.
The best review an author can hope for.