Tall Poppies Review: Kimberly Brock’s ‘The River Witch’ is a Modern Day Classic with a Southern Accent

in Fiction by

When Roslyn Byrne’s life implodes through miscarriage and job loss, she escapes to a remote island in Georgia, hoping for peace and healing. Instead, she discovers a broken family and Damascus, an unforgettable ten-year-old girl — the real star of this debut novel — whose life can be changed by nothing short of magic.

If you yearn for escape yourself — and these days, who doesn’t? — The River Witch is a book that embraces you as only warm-hearted Southern literature can. Don’t expect the quick clip of a thriller. This charming novel by Kimberly Brock unwinds with calm assurance, and takes you along for a compelling ride that calls for a tissue or two as it tugs at your heart.

The writing is never showy. Rather, it’s supple, gentle, and believable with a distinct Georgia accent. “Listening to the nurses…recollect life on the island during their youth, I began to recall a cadence, a rhythm not unlike my own heartbeat,” Brock writes. “They talked of weaving sweetgrass baskets with their mothers and grandmothers. They recalled their wedding days and the days they buried husbands and parents and children. Underneath it all was the magic of our bodies in motion, a celebration. And once Sheree started an old gospel hymn, they all joined in a low mumbling sort of way that grew up into an actual harmony that we picked up quick and sure. A ring shout, they called it… Damascus moaned and rolled her
eyes.”

Don’t expect a happy-ever-after finale. Instead, you are rewarded with a believable picture of human nature and healing through love and the strength of history and family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Brock is the author of the award-winning modern Gothic novel The River Witch. An Amazon bestseller, the book has been featured by both national and international book clubs and included in multiple reading lists. Brock’s debut novel was also honored with the prestigious Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2013 by the Georgia Writer’s Association and was featured as part of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2017 TRIO exhibit. In addition to working on her second novel, she runs the biannual Tinderbox Writers Retreat on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.

 

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Sally Koslow is the author five novels published in twelve countries, including the forthcoming (May 2018) ANOTHER SIDE OF PARADISE, which is set in Old Hollywood and brings to life the grand love affair of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham, an early gossip columnist and a woman with a remarkable Gatsby-esque past. To learn more about Sally, please visit her website: www.sallykoslow.com.