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Reviews and Praise for Charlotte Miller's Books

Praise for There Is A River

". . .memorable, larger than life characters facing extraordinary odds. . ."--BookPage

Read the BookPage review in its entirety

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". . .a masterful job. . ."--The Anniston Star

Read The Anniston Star review in its entirety

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". . .an outstanding trilogy. . . .There Is A River is a heartfelt, powerfully written saga. . . .Also highly recommended are the first two novels of the series, Behold, This Dreamer, and Through A Glass, Darkly."--The Midwest Book Review

Read the Midwest Book Review review in its entirety

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"...those who enjoy well-crafted popular fiction set in this era and locale have much to look forward to as the Sanders family enters the war years."

--from the Publishers Weekly review of Through A Glass, Darkly

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"In There Is a River, the conclusion to the trilogy that includes Behold, This Dreamer and Through a Glass, Darkly, Charlotte Miller renders a portion of our Southern experience with delicacy, accuracy, and above all love, rescuing its inhabitants from a dusty obscurity. Miller creates real people with real lives; more importantly, she makes us believe in them every inch of the way. She is a born writer and I for one look forward to every book she will pen during what I am sure will be a very prolific lifetime."

-- Rosemary Daniell, author of Confessions of a (Female) Chauvinist, Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex and Suicide in the Deep South, and The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself: Writing and Living the Zona Rosa Way

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"This third book in the Janson Sanders trilogy is Charlotte Miller's best, and that's saying a lot, because the first two were fine pieces of storytelling. There Is A River brings the story home in a compelling, page-turning way with characters who have by now become good friends. You ache, agonize, cry, laugh and cheer for these folks. And finally, you see how love and sheer determination make us all glad we're human."

-- Robert Inman, author of Captain Saturday, Coming Home: Life, Love,
and All Things Southern
, and Dairy Queen Days.

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"Charlotte Miller concludes her trilogy with a bold and complex story that spans three generations. Personal histories intertwine to form a basketweave of rich, lively detail."

--Judy Goldman, author of The Slow Way Back

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"Charlotte Miller is the essence of modern Southern Literature. She has woven her heritage into a stunning trilogy, the latest book of which, There is a River, is a passionate story of loss and recovery. It exemplifies a Southerner's deep commitment to place and language."

--Edward Swift, author of Miss Spellbinder's Point of View, A Place With Promise,
My Grandfather's Finger, and Splendora.

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"Charlotte Miller's vibrant characters and colorful scenery draw you in and hold on tight, captivating and making you yearn for more long after turning the final page. A terrific book and wonderful trilogy."

--Vicki Allen, author of The Return, For Molly, and The Search for Shannon.

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Praise for Through A Glass, Darkly

"Miller has a sympathetic feel for the struggles of rural life in the South during this period, and she creates well-drawn, memorable characters....an intriguing web of intertwined tales; those who enjoy well-crafted popular fiction set in this era and locale have much to look forward to..."

--Publisher's Weekly "Fiction Forecasts" review, October 1, 2001 issue

Read Publisher's Weekly review in its entirety

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"...a compelling story of what life in the South was like for the majority of citizens before, during and after The Great Depression."

--The Anniston Star, Anniston, Alabama

Read The Anniston Star review in its entirety

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"Here we see a committed writer at her best..."

--The Chattanooga Times, Chattanooga, Tennessee

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"...a good read, a page turner, with suspense generated on almost every page."

--The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama

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"...a chronicle of what southern poor white mill workers and sharecroppers went through in the twenties and thirties. Miller shows us what it's like to live in a mill house, lacking electricity and plumbing, canted on a hill, stone pillars supporting the skimpy porches, cordwood stacked against one wall. These details are not inert, as in a researched period piece. The cordwood is for the wood stove Elise burns biscuits on. Elise sees, and responds to, "gaudy flowered curtains" hanging in one window of a mill house, "sedate lace ones in the other."

"Janson's attempts at sharecropping are also powerfully realized..."

--First Draft, Winter 2002 issue

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"Through a Glass, Darkly has what most current novels sadly lack: a strong narrative line, surprisingly maintained through what appears at first to be digressive but in fact ends by contributing to an overall unity. The novel should please many readers, as well as reliably inform them about the deplorable economic conditions that, during the 1920's and 30's, prevailed in Alabama and other parts of the South."

--Madison Jones, member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, recipient of the T.S. Elliot Award
for Creative Writing and the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Alabama Author, and author of
Nashville 1864: The Dying of the Light, A Cry of Absence, and other novels.

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"If you liked Behold, This Dreamer, you'll love Through A Glass, Darkly. Charlotte Miller has given us a story of how love and honor can wage a cruelly uneven battle against greed, arrogance, poverty, malevolent evil, and the unmerciful hand of fate -- and yet, somehow, prevail. The book is a triumph of storytelling. The story is a triumph of the human spirit."

--Robert Inman, author of Coming Home: Life, Love, and All Things Southern,
Dairy Queen Days, Home Fires Burning, and other novels.

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"In Through a Glass, Darkly, Charlotte Miller invokes the deep rural South, and a time, a place, and a people so accurately that one can almost hear the beat of a heart, the touch of a hand on a cheek. As a major chronicler of our near past, with both its darkness and light, Miller has penned a novel in which the lives of the characters soon become almost as real as our own. She is a true Southern author in the best sense of the word, and this book will leave her fans waiting for more."

--Rosemary Daniell, author of Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex and Suicide in the Deep South,
Confessions of a (Female) Chauvinist, and other books.

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"Engrossing continuation of the fictional account of Janson and Elise, newly married and faced with personal and community problems as hard times set in. The good in perfect counterpoint with evil. Absorbing blend of history and fiction."

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

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"Rarely is a sequel as successful as a first novel. This one is. Charlotte Miller knows her people, the poor white farmers of rural north Alabama. James Agee showed us their faces in Now Let Us Praise Famous Men. This writer reveals their hearts and their dreams.

"From the opening page, when in 1920 the half-Cherokee farm hand Janson Sanders brings his gently reared and pregnant sixteen year old wife Elise into his grandparents' cabin, we are absorbed in the day to day life of this family: the twelve hour shifts in the cotton mill, the brutality of the mill-owner's son, the hand to mouth struggle to survive the grim Depression days with their aftermath of joblessness and welfare.

"But through it all we see the unquenchable pride of this young couple, their moral courage, and their love for each other and their children. It is a page turner, an unforgettable read."

--Helen Blackshear, past Poet Laureate of Alabama (1995-1999), and author of
These I Would Keep, An Alabama Album, and other books.

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Praise for 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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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"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.


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2000-2011 by Charlotte Miller.