New York Times Newly Released Books for Oct. 25, 2012

Hooray for  Janis. Sister dear, friend divine… I love it when friends are recognized for brilliance, for hard work, for TALENT. Janis’s newest novel, American Ghost, is a great read and I heartily recommend it. It’s a bit historical fiction, a bit Southern Gothic and romance and a smidgen of mystery. My copy is an ebook, bought via Amazon and I read it on the Kindle Fire for the most part but did some reading on the iPad with the Kindle app. I prefer the Fire for reading, it’s easy to hold. Sure, there’s an iPad mini out there now. I don’t replace technology unless something wears out or becomes obsolete. Our iPad will soon become obsolete, it’s the first one and does not like the internet very much. Enough of that nonsense, this is about reading American Ghost. Read it.

This review posted in the NYTimes Newly Released Books column.

AMERICAN GHOST
By Janis Owens
278 pages. Scribner. $25.

The folks in the poor, swampy town of Hendrix, Fla., are haunted all right. In 1938 a black man named Henry Kite shot a white shopkeeper over a pack of cigarettes, but it was the citizens’ revenge on the murderer and his family that scars their descendants and those who witnessed the acts. Over six decades the townspeople effectively fend off curious outsiders, even pruning off the tree limb that Kite hung from. Enter an anthropologist who asks too many questions and falls for the enigmatic young daughter of one of the old families. Not a good call. Ms. Owens, who hails from western Florida, brings the vibrancy of a small Southern community to bear on a gothic tale. She makes one big mistake, hinging a major plot point on a misunderstanding that could be cleared up with a phone call between characters. It’s annoying. But by then you’re hooked.

It’s truly a privilege to be such close friends with Janis. So much talent!  Southern sisters, born of different mothers, raised in different homes… get a copy of American Ghost today.

American ghost: a novel
Janis Owens; Scribner 2012
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