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Behold, This Dreamer
a novel by
Charlotte Miller

"Charlotte Miller has illuminated a dark corner of the American South with remarkable grace and beauty. Behold, This Dreamer is an incredible debut novel."

--Melinda Haynes, author of Mother of Pearl,
the Oprah Book Club® selection for June 1999

"Behold, This Dreamer is a wonderful read. Charlotte Miller is a born story-teller whose characters come alive. I didn't want the book to end."

--Anne Carroll George, author of This One and Magic Life, and
Agatha award-winning author of the Southern Sisters mysteries

"Good news! Southern Literature is not dying. It is being revived by a writer named Charlotte Miller, and a press called NewSouth Books. Behold, This Dreamer reminds us of what we can't lose: the language of our people, the details of our land, the spiritual lust we crave--all of which Miller brings together in this masterful first novel."

--Vicki Covington, author of Night Ride Home, and co-author of Cleaving

"First time novelists just aren't supposed to be able to do things like this. Charlotte Miller has a superb sense of place and time, and in Janson Sanders, she has given us a character who goes right to the heart of some things that really matter: love of the land, the good kind of pride, and above all, pursuit of dreams."

--Robert Inman, author of Dairy Queen Days and Home Fires Burning

"Solidly grounded in the Southern rural scene, this is a compelling tale, which addresses questions of identity and the struggle of good with evil. A story vividly told and, from first to last, rewarding to read."

--Helen Norris, Poet Laureate of Alabama, recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Alabama
Author 2000, and author of One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and The Christmas Wife

"You will fall in love with this sweeping tale of pride and passion and anxiously await the next segment of Charlotte Miller's trilogy, Behold, This Dreamer."

--Judith Richards, author of Summer Lightning and Too Blue To Fly

"In Behold, This Dreamer a flapper daughter of the 1920's in rural Georgia defies her tyrannical father and brothers by falling in love with a true-hearted farm hand from Alabama. You'll stay up late turning the pages of this suspenseful and inspiring tale. Charlotte Miller has created a world rich in period-piece details--the labor of hand-picking cotton from the red fields, the latest bobbed hair styles for women, the interior of a 1915 black Cadillac touring car. Bone-chilling scenes of cruelty between girl friends, between fathers and daughters, between abusive husbands and their wives, between land owners and sharecroppers serve as the background for characters who allow their hearts to shine out from the darkness."

--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife; or, the Star-Gazer

"Charlotte Miller's Behold, This Dreamer is filled with the lush landscapes of the South rendered often in evocative and vivid language. Not simply a backdrop, this landscape is the very foundation upon which Miller builds the story of a man characterized by his hard work, dignity, pride, and determination. In him we see the struggles of the poor and disposessed. We behold not only the dreamer, but also the triumph of love."

--Natasha Trethewey, author of Domestic Work, and recipient of the ASCA Individual Arts Fellowship, 2000.

Hailed by NewSouth Books as:
A new voice in the tradition of Erskine Caldwell.

Janson Sanders, part Cherokee, part poor-but-proud white, is a man intent on revenging his father's death and taking back the land stolen from him by a wealthy planter. In the process, he meets and falls in love with Elise Whitley, the daughter of another rich landowner who happens to operate an illegal bootlegging industry. In this desperate, dangerous world, Janson must fend off both rival bootleggers and honest policemen. A story of love, hope, poverty, and heartbreak, the protagonist struggles to find himself while being pulled in opposite directions toward his love and his dream.

A novel set against the contrasting backdrops of the small farm and sharecropping life in the South in the final days of King Cotton, and the frivolity and rapid change of the Jazz Age of the 1920's, Behold, This Dreamer opens a trilogy of novels that span the time period from the 1920's to the present, and that follow the development of the South from the cotton era to the South of today.




Click here to read the first chapter




What the reviewers are saying about Behold, This Dreamer:

"The value of family, home and devotion to those we love is the truth this book whispers over and over until at the end, the whisper grows to a shout...

"...grips the reader's heart with a breathless intensity.

"...once it gains entrance into the reader's heart, it refuses to let go."

--Reviewer Ruth Rogers, in The Bowling Green Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Read The Bowling Green Daily News review in its entirety

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"This story pulls the reader into the world of love, hope, poverty and heartbreak...

"...probes deep, illuminating something raw and evil swept under the carpet of time."

--Reviewer Lois Scott, in The Victoria Advocate, Victoria, Texas.

Read The Victoria Advocate review in its entirety

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"Charlotte Miller's subject and style has been compared to Erskine Caldwell's, and there's plenty in her writing to justify such a comparison, but there is also something of William Faulkner. She sketches a scene and then returns to it, with a fuller brush and yet again with even more descriptive detail until the canvas looks like that of an old master, full and ripe with color, complete to the most minute item, with every nuiance of setting and action captured."

--Reviewer Peyton Bobo, in The West Alabama Gazette

Read The West Alabama Gazette review in its entirety

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"Behold, This Dreamer is a faithful representation of the twenties as seen from the vantage point of a class too often ignored in contemporary fiction. In Janson Sanders, with his fierce independence, his sense of self, and his love of the land, the author has created a hero worthy to represent the embattled farmers who have done so much to build this nation."

--Reviewer Rosemary Canfield Reisman in the Winter 2001 issue of
First Draft: The Journal of the Alabama Writers Forum

Read the First Draft review in its entirety

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"...the novel...hints at more to come, thus leaving the reader wanting more.

"Behold, This Dreamer is the first volume in a trilogy. The second installment is complete and the author is finishing the third."

--Reviewer Judy Purinton, Huntsville Times, February 18, 2001

Read the Huntsville Times review in its entirety

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"What a story! Fantastic! It is reminiscient of Gone With the Wind.

"...one of those sagas that will keep the reader reading and when the words of the story are complete, the memories of the very real characters remain on the readers mind. Their personalities are so well developed that the characters become real.

"....This is one author whose name will be on the top of readers' lists for a long time! Bravo!"

--Reviewer Maris Cato, Southern Scribe Reviews, February 2001

Read the Southern Scribe review in its entirety

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"Miller's cadence is swift and literary, her scope epic and cinematic. She knows how to...magnetize our attention...."

--Reviewer Robert Ely, Montgomery Advertiser, November 5, 2000

Read the Montgomery Advertiser review in its entirety

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"...the finest piece of fiction about the Deep South since Erskine Caldwell's of the 1920's and 1930's...."

--The LaFayette Sun, October 4, 2000

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"...a rich historical novel full of vivid images of 1920's Alabama....
"...a social commentary...
"...a timeless romantic story...
"...wrapped in one novel written in an easy, flowing style that makes it almost impossible to put down once the reader opens the cover."

--Joan Sung, Librarian Writer/Member of the Southern Stories Foundation,
dedicated to developing Alabama stories for film and video.

Read Joan Sung's review in its entirety


Behold, This Dreamer is available in trade paperback at fine bookstores everywhere, ISBN: 1-58838-061-0 .
The ISBN of the sold-out, hardcover first edition of Behold, This Dreamer is 1-58838-002-5.

The Trilogy:

Behold, This Dreamer opens a best-selling trilogy of novels that span the time period from the 1920's to the present,
and that follow the development of the South from the cotton era to the South of today:

Behold, This Dreamer

October 2000, NewSouth Books


Through a Glass, Darkly

September 2001, NewSouth Books


There is a River
Coming September 2002, from NewSouth Books


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