Synopses & Reviews
"Berry richly evokes Port William's farmlands and hamlets, and his characters are fiercely individual, yet mutually protective in everything they do. . . . His sentences are exquisitely constructed, suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world."--New York Times Book Review.
"Each of the five stories in this collection deals with the ties which bind people to the past, to the land, and to each other. 'Making It Home,' which tells of Art Rowanberry's return to Kentucky after World
War II, is as understated and clear as Hemingway's 'Big Two-Hearted River.' Another story, 'A Jonquil for Mary Penn,' is an evocative counterpoint to Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily.' Tragedy exists in Berry's fictional world, as 'Pray Without Ceasing' demonstrates, but all events are ultimately redeemed by human and divine love. The title story is the weakest of the lot—Berry preaches a bit too much here—but the book happily concludes with the affecting 'Are You All Right?' These stories certainly are, and through them Berry shows why he is a major American writer." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)