Janet Smith Post

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Cotton Rock

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


Like the White River that once forged its way across the formidable dome of Ozark bedrock, scraping back the forest and scratching off the wilderness to reach its destination with the sea, Cotton Rock traces the life journeys of people living along the river, their love and loss, hope and heartache, their glory and shame.  With generous helpings of Ozark folklore and humor, Cotton Rock is--at root--the story of Anna, who grapples with guilt and with her God, who she says, "shot a hole in her heart."  Anna attends the class of 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;  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.

  • Publication date: Second Edition, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781493581641
  • List Price: $15.00