Authors love receiving reviews, that’s for sure! During the past two weeks, we’ve been delighted that so many of our ARC readers really enjoyed our new HILL COUNTRY CHRISTMAS.
One of our reviewers, Cathy Fiorello, came to my attention through an online writers’ workshop last summer and we kept corresponding. Since then, I’ve read some of her work, and recently, Cathy’s review of A H ill Country Christmas/Hope for Hardscrabble Times caught my attention, perhaps because I can relate to being an “outsider” and finding Texas history so intriguing.
See what you think:
A Hill Country Christmas – Amazon review
I’m not a Texan, y’all. I’m an East Coast, New England, city girl. I’m not a history buff, and I never knew what a topsy-turvy doll was. But I was sent a copy of A Hill Country Christmas – Hope for Hardscrabble Times, with the possibility of writing a review of it. Here’s my personal opinion of this book: it’s lovely. It made me feel wistful for something I’ve never known.
Most of the stories were written about a simpler time when people worked harder than I do and went through more random sorrow than I’ve gone through. But there was a dignity to their lives, their faith, and the way they loved.
The book contains seventeen stories about happenings in the great land of Texas, arranged chronologically from 1835 to 2021. Reading them gave me a respite from the disillusionment of the post-modern age of information I live in. I said respite instead of escape because a respite can produce growth instead of numb avoidance. The book made me want to change – slow down, appreciate nature, my family, savor a slow cup of coffee. It made me want to really listen to people – something that doesn’t always happen in my break-neck life.
Favorite stories: A Castroville Christmas Eve, The Made-over Christmas, Christmas Conundrum, The Deer Hunters’ Ball, and Lo Nuestro.Read it for Christmas, or when it’s hot out. It will help you lean into kindness and simplicity.
Putting extra thought into these phrases…wistful for something I’ve never known…lean into kindness and simplicity…shows a literary writer at work. That word “literary” means delving a bit deeper by seeking unique phrases to clarify or define one’s meaning, thus creating vivid images for the reader.
Cathy also writes novels and poetry–a traditional publisher recently requested the full manuscript of her debut novel. I expect we’ll soon be hearing more from this Northeastern girl!
Connect with Cathy on FaceBook or at cathyfiorello.com.