Cotton Rock Reviews
Janet Post’s words lift off the page like the sweet memory of a song you fell in love with once that, hearing it now, fills your heart again. I’m stunned...It’s beautiful… The pacing of her writing, the lyricism… I wish I could write like that...”
–Paul Saltzman, Metropolitan Ed., Chicago Sun Times; winner, 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local Reporting
“Although the plot is fictionalized, Anna’s story is authentic. Child and woman are interwoven with the fog/river; the blending of cover/title/author underscores the reality of the story’s heart: resonant, rich, archetypal.”
–Gabriele Rico, author of best-seller, Writing the Natural Way
My childhood visits to my great-grandmother’s Ozark home gave me a love for that region, and my geology courses in college made me fall in love with rocks and river banks. These influences converged in my novel, Cotton Rock, a fictional memoir, set on the White River of the Ozarks. Cotton Rock tells about the intertwining lives of folks living along the White River, in the heart of Ozarks. Four narrative voices tell the story: John Sinclair, a professor who comes to live in his Grandfather’s cabin and agrees to teach a summer writing class at the Cotton Rock library; Anna McKerry, an Ozark native, attends the writing class to “pull the scabs off old wounds,” and “do some grappling with guilt;” Emmet McDougal attends the class to write a weekly fishing report and reminds us to “drop a line into the river and eat fish fresh from the bone of heaven.” Lucy Freeman, a hill woman who reports that she’s “freckled as a turkey egg, and believes that “children have guardian angels who swap stories,” attends class to write down her collection of “angel gossip.”
I wove these stories, my own and my family’s into one. I placed it in the Ozarks, the home of my people. The stories and names changed in the weaving, but the love and the loss, the hope and heartache, the glory and the shame are all flesh-and-blood true. It’s a story of romance, mystery, a missing body, and a plethora of rich Ozark language and life.