Genre: Historical Fiction / Southern Fiction
Date of Publication: November 30, 2020
Number of Pages: 359 pages
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“Everything has to be reconciled eventually.”
Caddo Parish, 1913. On an October morning, a Klansman confronts seventeen-year-old David Walker at a hidden oxbow lake where he has gone to hunt. David accidentally kills the man and hides the crime. His determination to protect his family from reprisal drives him far from home and into manhood.
Shreveport, 1927. Cargie (rhymes with Margie) Barre and Mae Compton are two vastly different young women, but both are defying convention to reach for their dreams. The men in Cargie’s and Mae’s lives help and hinder them in more ways than one. After years in hiding, David Walker finally resurfaces, and we discover the past is never as far from the present as it seems.
PRAISE FOR STORK BITE:
“Simonds is a wonderfully talented author and evokes the South in astonishing detail in Stork Bite, making us feel we’re sitting in on a long, sumptuous, serial film production. But don’t think it’s mere eye candy–like the best period dramas, there’s plenty of social commentary here. Highly recommended!” Linore Rose Burkard, author of Regency Romance and Contemporary Suspense.
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Stork Bite was such a pleasure to read, and the story reminded me that we all make life decisions that influence the directions our lives will take, for the good or the not-so-good.
I’ve got to say, I had a special fondness for David Walker above the rest of the characters. Not that I disliked any of the others. They all have their own unique charms, but maybe he was so special because he was the first person I met in the story. Then there’s that wonderful bond he has with his dog. I can relate to that kind of bond. I’d go all tiger-mom at anyone who threatened my kids or my dog.
The final endearment David had for me is the fact that he wasn’t not so much at the mercy of his decisions but the decisions of others.
I’d forgotten how terrible it was for Black folks following the Civil War, and in a way I hated this reminder. It was a real punch in the gut to know that David could’ve easily been killed by that fake lawman in the opening of the story, and other white people would’ve congratulated the killer, while David’s family mourned.
Couched within this story are lessons about social justice, social mores, and the ways people distort them for their own gain.
It is also a story about the folks who struggle against expectations of the time. Mae and Cargie were good examples of that. Through sheer determination, and the support of a loving, understanding husband, Cargie was able to follow her dream of using her skills with math to work as a bookkeeper. It wasn’t so easy for Mae. She had to fight a little harder to break from having a life just like her mother’s in a small Texas town and do something different.
In addition to the wonderful characters, I really enjoyed these clever turns of phrase and some tidbits of wisdom:
This one from Cargie, “If you don’t want somebody to get your goat, don’t let them know where it’s tied.”
Description of an angry outburst. “Screaming bloody murder and cursing John Murphy in language so colorful it was nearly art.”
Another bit of wisdom from Cargie that people could take to heart today if they cared to. “A body had to remember to take people as they came, individually, instead of lumping them all together in a bunchy.”
There is so much to enjoy about this novel, as well as to learn from, that I highly recommend the read.
L.K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local whose debut novel, All In, was published in 2019.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Signed Paperbacks of ALL IN and STORK BITE
Plus $50 Visa Gift Card.
Giveaway ends Midnight, CST, February 5, 2021
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