“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” —Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife
WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.
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“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” —Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls and the upcoming memoir Tell Me a Story
"Anyone who knows the South and its quirky residents will love this entertaining and insightful collection of stories.” —John Floyd, Edgar Award nominee, three-time Derringer Award winner, and 2018 Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award winner, a lifetime achievement award
“A love letter to big lives found in small southern towns, Friends of the Library reminds us of the affecting, empowering ways libraries serve as safe havens for the stories and storytellers in our communities." —Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and coeditor with Nicole Seitz of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy
“Susan Cushman’s latest book is clever and pioneering. She creates a collection of fiction stories that unmask real-world problems through an author’s visit to Friends of the Library meetings, and then becomes a pivotal force in helping the characters resolve crises—cancer, homelessness, domestic violence, and much more. Another work by Susan Cushman I couldn’t put down.” — Niles Reddick, Pulitzer Prize, PEN-Faulkner, and Pushcart Prize nominee
“Readers already know Susan Cushman as a talented novelist and nonfiction author. This time she uses short stories to take us on a fictional tour of Mississippi, giving us a delightful peek inside the ‘Friends’ library groups of ten real cities and towns. Anyone who knows the South and its quirky residents will love this entertaining and insightful collection of stories.” —John Floyd, Edgar Award nominee, three-time Derringer Award winner, and 2018 Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award winner, a lifetime achievement award
“Susan Cushman has crafted a set of delightful short stories that will make everyone want to be an author visiting Friends of the Library groups like her main character Adele Covington, who finds herself involved in difficult problems in the lives of those coming to hear her talks. Adoption, domestic violence, homelessness, and other hard issues are addressed and resolved as Adele comes to care for those she meets along the way. I hope that as Susan continues to publish, she adds to these stories, creating an ongoing series.” —Ellen Morris Prewitt, editor of Writing Our Way Home: A Group Journey Out of Homelessness.