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Through A Glass, Darkly
a novel by
Charlotte Miller

"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

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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

"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.

Hailed by Publishers Weekly as "...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..."

Through A Glass, Darkly is the sequel to the regional best-seller Behold, This Dreamer, which introduced Janson Sanders, a half-Cherokee, half-white yeoman farmer from the Alabama hill country. In book one, Janson's parents died and he lost the family farm. He went to Georgia to earn a living and there fell in love with the daughter of a wealthy landowner. Janson and Elise run away and get married and then are turned out by her father. In desperation, they return to Alabama, to Janson's grandparents and relatives. Through A Glass, Darkly, the second volume in Charlotte Miller's trilogy, depicts their struggle to make a life for themselves in the shadow of the Great Depression. Underpinning their love story is Janson's dream to recover his own land, a dream pushed aside as he becomes a husband and a father. Janson will do anything to support his family, even work for the man who killed his father. Janson struggles to build a life for his family in the middle of a poverty- and prejudice-striken world, gaining strength and hope from his wife, Elise, who stands firmly by his side.




Click here to read an excerpt




What the reviewers are saying about 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

~ ~ ~

"...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

Read The Anniston Star review in its entirety

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

--The Chattanooga Times

~ ~ ~

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

--The Montgomery Advertiser

Read the Montgomery Advertiser review in its entirety

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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

Read the First Draft review in its entirety


Through A Glass, Darkly is available in hardcover at fine bookstores everywhere, ISBN: 1-58838-054-8.

The Trilogy:

Through A Glass, Darkly is the second volume in 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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