Book Reviews

Tree Heresies (Wright)

William Wright. Tree Heresies. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2015. 65 pages. Softcover. $18.00. Tree Heresies is a collection of poetry whose music often conjures Hopkins and at times Dickinson, yet the music is fully Wright’s. Images allow for a hint of narrative: the troubled psyche of a sleepless narrator,…

Riding on Comets: A Memoir (Pleska)

Cat Pleska. Riding on Comets: A Memoir. Morgantown, W.Va.: Vandalia Press, 2015. 236 pages. Softcover. $16.99. If Cat Pleska is riding on comets, her family members are the constellations she observes on her journey. Descriptions of her father’s drinking, her mother’s depression, hospitalization and electroshock therapy, are juxtaposed against Christmas…

Beauty Strip (Woolfitt)

William Kelley Woolfitt. Beauty Strip. Huntsville, Tex.: Texas Review Press, 2014. 82 pages. Softcover. $19.95. William Kelley Woolfitt’s poetry collection Beauty Strip offers a poet’s sure touch in language and sound. This full-length poetry collection both celebrates the beauty and history of West Virginia and laments the destruction wrought by…

Driving with the Dead (Hicks)

Jane Hicks. Driving with the Dead. Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014. 82 pages. Softcover. $19.95. In Driving With the Dead, poet Jane Hicks’s stunning follow-up to her 2005 debut collection Blood and Bone Remember (winner of the 2006 Appalachian Book of the Year), Hicks turns her rigorous…

Pilgrimage to Dollywood (Morales)

Helen Morales. Pilgrimage to Dollywood: A Country Music Road Trip through Tennessee. Chicago, Il.: University of Chicago Press, 2014. 192 pages. Hardcover. $22.50. The travelogue Pilgrimage to Dollywood by Helen Morales is an enjoyable book for academics, intellectuals, and readers who love Dolly Parton, if they are able to overlook some unpleasantness that could offend a…

A Shelter of Others (White)

Charles Dodd White. A Shelter of Others. Peninsula, Ohio: Fiddleback ltd, 2014. 216 pages. Softcover. $14.00. Whether we are born into a family or make a family, the urge to reside in a tribe is strong. So says Charles Dodd White in his novel A Shelter of Others. From the…

Shake Terribly the Earth (Childers)

Sarah Beth Childers. Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2013. 224 pages. Trade paperback. $24.95. Shake Terribly the Earth, an essay collection by West Virginian Sarah Beth Childers, captures essentials of the memoir genre and the central Appalachian multi-generational familial experience. Her…