Sorrow Wood by Raymond L. Atkins

Sorrow Wood is kind of a difficult book to explain. The book centers on the lives of Reva and Wendell Blackmon, documenting much of their life together. The two live in Sand Valley, Alabama, where Wendell is the town sheriff and Reva is the local judge. Throughout the book we are transferred from the present time (1985) back to previous times in the Blackmon’s lives, as well as into their past lives (as seen in Reva’s dreams). Mostly, the book is the story of their current life together, their difficult childhoods, and how they eventually came to be together. In the midst of learning about the destined love of the Blackmons, there is also a murder committed in Sand Valley with Wendell Blackmon trying to track down the murderer.

I really loved reading the stories of the two main characters. Much of the book takes place during the World War II era, with Wendell Blackmon serving in the Navy at the time. Raymond L. Atkins did a wonderful job of re-creating the feeling of duty many Americans felt at that time, as well as showing the sacrifice that many people made. There were also scenes from the Korean and Vietnam Wars in the book as we moved through the decades.

As with his debut novel, Atkins has created a cast of colorful characters with his latest novel. I really enjoyed his choices of words and the overall love story found in the book. I found the second epilogue to be a little bit over the top, but I think it was probably the quickest way to wrap up one of the storylines found throughout the book.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Sunday Salon: Surprise Delivery

I stopped by my apartment yesterday to get the last of my things and start cleaning for the next tenants and was surprised to find a book on my back porch. It was a delivery from Medallion Press. They shipped me a copy of Sorrow Wood, the new book by Raymond L. Atkins that will be released on August 1.

I’m so super excited about this book because I really liked Atkins’ first book, The Front Porch Prophet, which I reviewed here. The good news too is that I’ve got a plane ride coming up this Friday so I’ll have a great opportunity to read it!

Here’s the plot blurb from Amazon:

When the charred body of a promiscuous, self-proclaimed witch is discovered at a farm called Sorrow Wood, nearly everyone in the sleepy town of Sand Valley, Alabama, is drawn into the case. As the murder probe continues, a multitude of secrets are revealed, including one that leads back to the rock castle home of Wendell Blackmon, Sand Valley’s police chief, and his beloved wife Reva. The town’s inhabitants ruminate on the true meaning of commitment, love, death, hope, and loss as they delve deeper into questions such as Who was this woman? Where did she come from? and What did her presence mean to Wendell, Reva, and the townspeople of Sand Valley?

Review to come soon!

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 11:09 pm  Comments (2)