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Catfish Alley Paperback – Bargain Price, April 5, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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-RT Book Reviews, 4 and1/2 stars--TOP PICK
"A tender, wise, unique story of life, love, and southern women, crafted by a skilled writer who understands the struggle to find happiness and the healing power of friendship."
-Lisa Wingate, author of Beyond Summer and Larkspur Cove
"In the tradition of The Help, Lynne Bryant's Catfish Alley tackles the racial divide of both 1920s and current-day Mississippi in a page- turning narrative that has, at its heart, the search for personal connections as the path to both survival and understanding."
-Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River
"Catfish Alley is a bittersweet love song to the union of women, and a heartfelt meditation on the old and new wounds of a South that still must tiptoe, still doesn't always know how to move forward, but is determined to try. Lynne Bryant writes honorably and earnestly about women facing each other and themselves."
-Barbara O'Neal, How to Bake a Perfect Life
"Catfish Alley is Lynne Bryant's first novel -- and in reading it, I feel as if I've stumbled on a rare gem! ...an extremely captivating story that unfolds and will keep you hooked until the very last page."
-Dreamworld Book Reviews
"Catfish Alley brims with humor and pathos in equal parts, with realistic, three-dimensional characters sure to delight and intrigue from the start. Of all the novels set in the South, Lynne Bryant’s debut novel deserves an honored place on any bookshelf."
-Rhett DeVane, Southern Literary Review
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Set in modern day Mississippi, the book is interwoven with recollections and memories of the 1930s South. The book deals with race, family, and friendships, both then and now. The characters are genuine and wise. The relationships are full of all that real life is made of.
Even when writing outside her realm of experience, Ms. Bryant's observations are keen and accurate. She has done her homework. She has tried to depict the South with its people and history in a broader sense. She has done it well, and its people proud.
Roxanne Reeves is your typical southern, wealthy matron, to the manor born--or is she? She has had little contact with African Americans other than to employ them to clean her house or yard. But it seems Roxanne has lots of secrets, her most recent one being, she and her husband of 20-plus years have separated due to his philandering. But her social circle dare not find out because her high standing in the community would surely drop, seeing as it is Dudley's family that comes from the money. But Roxanne has bigger catfish to fry; she has just been mandated by the Pilgrimage Committee of which she chairs, to form an African- American tour. What possibly is there of interest about black people that Yankees and other tourists would want to see? Despite the fact that Roxanne was a history major in college and is a restoration expert, she just does not have a clue of what blacks have contributed to her town of Clarksville, Mississippi, not to mention the country. But if she wants the restoration job of the antebellum mansion, Riverview, belonging to Louisa Humboldt, she needs to form this tour and to that end she makes the acquaintance of Miss Grace Clark.
Grace Clark is an elderly, black, stately former school teacher who is 89 years old, a native of Clarksville and who lives in one of the most distinguished plantation homes of the town. Her first impression is one of resistance.Read more ›
"Catfish Alley" chronicles the lives of various Southern women, who are smart, intelligent and pillars of strength in their community. It is quite clear with the way author Bryant writes that she is not only familiar and comfortable with the South, but that these stories come from experience. Taking these Southern characters, the author weaves a tale both beautiful and sad.
Roxanne Reeves' life is disintegrating, and she has no friends to reach out to, because she has spent most of her life trying to create a distance between herself and others so that they don't discover her past. When she approaches Miss Grace Clarke, in order to consult with her about a new African-American tour, the last thing she expects is to find an amazing friend who helps her come face-to-face with her own demons. In taking Roxanne Reeves to the different African-American landmarks within the community, Grace sets the wheels in motion to relate the story of African-American's in 1930's Mississippi, that changed the lives of Grace, her friend Adelle, Junior who was the love of her life, and Zero, her brother. As the story unfolds, the reader is shown both the prim and proper ways of the Southern belles in her circle, and the impropriety of some of these same families in the past; especially in regards to racism.Read more ›
It may not have been smart for me to read it on the heels of Kathryn Stockett's The Help. Although fundamentally different books, the subject matter of Catfish Alley is similar enough that I almost felt a kind of burnout for a few days while reading it and listening to The Help at the same time. I finished The Help almost a week ago, and then I sandwiched in a fabulous L.A. mystery (Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark, with a review coming up tomorrow!), so I was sufficiently ready to dive back into the south and race relations.
Catfish Alley is set in Mississippi, in the fictional town of Clarksville, which I assume is based on the real town of Columbus. Why do I assume this? Well, there is an actual Catfish Alley area in Columbus, so the pieces seem to fit. Decorator and main character Roxanne Reeves specializes in reviving antebellum homes to their former glory, using time-period-appropriate methods and materials. She also is the director of the annual tour of homes in Clarksville. When a newcomer to town purchases an old mansion Roxanne has had her eye on for years, Roxanne falls all over herself to please the lady. Her first request is that historical African-American homes be added to the tour.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A story that gets your attention from page one and keeps you in suspense from one chapter to the next. Emotional and with drive. Read morePublished 3 months ago by aalandslid
Catfish Alley takes you on a journey that you still feel that you're on days after putting the book down! The author brings the characters to life in such a beautiful way! Read morePublished 8 months ago by AJM
I really enjoyed this book and am awaiting another by this author. She tells a great story and seamlessly intertwines the past and present. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Country Girl
This is a book that will stay with me the rest of my life.Published 13 months ago by Rebecca D. Koontz
Interesting enough story, but I felt it difficult to follow at times since the chapters were titled by different characters .Published 14 months ago by Cathe Berg