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Posted July 10, 2010
Touching Southern Fiction
Set in the early years of the Vietnam War,Jackie Lee Miles' Cold Rock River is the story of Adie, seventeen years old, and quickly married after becoming pregnant. Befriended by her neighbor Murphy and midwife Willa Mae, Adie attempts to make a life for herself and baby Grace Annie in Hog Gap, GA, while her husband Buck continues with his lover-boy life. Unlike those around her contented with their lives, Adie wants more for herself, and definitely for her daughter. Adie finds comfort and sisterhood in the journal of Tempe, a slave ancestor of Willa Mae, whose story of her life and motherhood during the Civil War draw Adie into new ways of thinking about her Southern heritage.
Like many Southern writers, Ms. Miles uses vivid descriptions to bring her landscape to life: In the distance, Cold Rock Mountain rested like a fat king on his throne. The sides sparkled like jewels as the sun bounced off chunks of granite embedded along the edges., as well as dialogue thick with regional sayings and accents. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspirational, and always true to the characters, Cold Rock River is a story of unusual friendships and hope within the realities of life.
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