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Skinny Dipping in Cane River Paperback – February 2, 2015
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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About the Author
After traveling in Europe, Phylis Caskey returned to the university setting to study French and Fine Arts. Along the way, creative writing piqued her interest, but it wasn’t until her youngest child went to high school that she started writing seriously. Her love of all things Southern led to her debut novel, Skinny Dipping in Cane River, and her passion for French history contributed to her medieval series. When she isn’t writing, she is tramping the world with her husband, visiting their children, and looking up friends. She enjoys getting lost in a good movie, especially an Indie film, with a huge bucket of popcorn. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and their anthropocentric dogs.
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Top customer reviews
Phylis captures that Southern flavor in her characters' speech, in the manner in which she paints the landscape wherein she places her story, and includes that special brand of Southern mystery that has become an essential part of American literature. IN her opening to the book, once we have met Julian and Brett James, brothers returning after fifty years, and Julian describes his status: ' The room smells like crushed gardenias. Sad memories crowd into my head, and for a moment, I can't move. I struggle to drive the shifty impressions back into my mind. Can't let a single remembrance through, no matter how precious. Hyperkinetic Memory Syndrome-- a one-line diagnosis defines me. I have a gift wrapped in a curse; detailed memories so life-like, I mistake them for reality. Biting the inside of my lip, I quickly search the room for a distraction, grounding me in the moment. When my fingers dust the duffle bag I remember where I am and why I'm here.' That is the flavor of writing that pervades this book addressed to the 9 to 18 years audience, but is a completely successful book no matter the age group.
In Phylis' synopsis of her story she writes, `Julian James returns to his hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana with an urn under his arm--and a heart full of regrets. Around every corner are haunting memories, one in particular: As a teenager, Julian's worst nightmare comes true when his father supposedly commits suicide. But he never believes the stories swirling about his father and soon discovers a hidden diary with three coded messages. Sara, a clever new friend, helps him decode the first message, and his fears are confirmed. His father's death was no accident. Julian digs deeper, investigating clues overlooked by the local authorities. But the closer he gets to solving his father's mysterious death, the more dangerous the game becomes--risking not only his life, but Sara's, too.'
Not only is SKINNY DIPPPING IN CANE RIVER a fine mystery, but it is also an excellent probing in to the aspects of Hyperkinetic Memory Syndrome that few authors have dared to include in their stories. It is this kind of intellectual stimulation along with the rhapsodic description of Louisiana and the unique characters she has created that make this a most impressive debut novel. It would seem the author's career has significant promise. Keep an eye on her work. Grady Harp, September 15
Perfect for nostalgic Baby Boomers, readers who love the South and anyone wanting a good mystery without gratuitous violence, sex and foul language.