REVIEW: Blackberry Winter by Cheryl Reavis
Dear Ms. Reavis,
I’ve been a fan of your’s since way back and was thrilled to hear that you were going to write another book set in North Carolina. The plot of a dying woman returning to her mountain home along with her illegitimate daughter so that both can find peace with the past may sound like a downer but you turn it into a beautiful exercise in homecoming and discovery. Yes, this book is a bit more women’s fiction than romance but there is a current romance in it and we do see parts of the bittersweet romance of Loran’s parents. I won’t kid you that reading the sections when Maddie was closing in on death weren’t hard. I know you were a home health nurse at one time and I believe large amounts of experience went into those scenes. Those readers who’ve read Carla Kelly’s “Summer Campaign” will know what
I think you do a wonderful job of showing the mountain people of North Carolina. There is some dialect but it’s very realistic and I never felt it was overdone. Heck, I know people who talk this way. And the characters aren’t portrayed as quirky just for color or all given double first names. As someone who’s winced through books with Southern characters before, it’s a relief.
I liked the romance between Loran and Meyer. It’s low key but that’s what this book needed. And it isn’t rushed into 2 weeks but resolves after a few months time. The relationship between Loran and her long lost father is well done too. Again, it’s not rushed and there’s resentment, hurt and confusion on both sides that is allowed to play out naturally. The book doesn’t force every question to be answered nor does it tack on a fairy tale, feel good epilogue.
I can safely say that long time fans will enjoy this book and that it’s a good introduction to your style for readers new to you. Thanks for another wonderful story.