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Just Finished Roxanna Slade, by Reynolds Price.

Roxanna Slade: A NovelRoxanna Slade: A Novel by Reynolds Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this an enjoyable read, and even one I might re-read. Yet it was an odd book, too. There were, in fact, a couple of plot points I really couldn’t buy. Likely these plot turns were effects Reynolds counted on to make the story unique, or even just a bit shocking. I think I found them not only implausible but needless. In the end, though, these matters did not bother me. I was slow to warm to Roxanna, but I eventually found that I had, that she had become real to me. Reynolds’ writing is enough to keep me reading. His turn of phrase brings high delight at times– I laughed out loud at the sentence: “I managed to have a nervous breakdown and hide the fact.” And then there was, “No two angels trying hard in Glory could have made better biscuits.” You know, no Southern novel is complete without the mention of biscuits.

The cadence and descriptions of the people and way of life in the first half of the 1900s in Northeast North Carolina was perfect and true. Mr. Reynolds’ home ground, of course, and my own. His writing took me home to my own heritage. These are my people, and for days I felt my grandparents and aunts and uncles and their voices and lives, just the whole cloud of them hovering near me. I loved it. Thank you, Mr. Reynolds. You left a good legacy. They just don’t make writing like that anymore.

“Strength just comes in one brand – you. Stand up at sunrise and meet what they send you and keep your hair combed” ~Reynolds Price

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