Sunday, February 12, 2012

More author comments... and camellias

Camellia courtesy of and Melodi T.
of Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand.
In A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, Marly Youmans gives us a beautifully written and exceptionally satisfying novel.  The book reads as if Youmans took the best parts of The Grapes of Wrath, On the Road, The Reivers, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and crafted from them a tale both magical and fine. Her rich language and lovely turns of phrase invite the reader to linger. Ironically, there is at the same time a subtle pressure throughout the novel to turn the page, because Youmans has achieved that rarest of all accomplishments: she has created a flawed hero about which we care. A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage is one of the best books I have read.  --Raymond L. Atkins

Perhaps I should say that I have not read two of those books. Memory says that I picked up On the Road but laid it down, never to go beyond the start. And I have not read The Curious Incident, probably because I was born into a neurologically odd family and have had the fantods over other people's neurological issues quite often enough. However, I have read the other three, two of them once, one of them many times.

To read comments by Lucius Shepard and Ron Rash and read further, go here.

The camellia that hangs like a cloud over the head of the wanderer on the cover was taken by Mary Beth Kosowski near the Mercer University Press office. For any Mercerians passing by, the flower was spotted in front of Woodruff House on Coleman Hill, next to the Mercer law school.


  1. This whets further an already whetted desire to read your novel, Marly.
    These are a lovely (and I know) well earned reviews.


    They will continue to pour in, I'm sure of it!

    Oh... and this page layout/design is really working well!

  2. These are the only ones requested--I asked Lucius because he asked to read the manuscript, and I asked Ron because I felt nervy. And Mercer asked Raymond Atkins. And I am pleased with all three!

    Next should be reviews from pre-pub reviewers, so...


    P. S. I just gave David away in the Second Annual Facebook/Twitter Valentine's Giveaway. Who will want him? That will be interesting! Shall have to think who else...

  3. To your P. S.


  4. Loretta!

    Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not friends with Loretta the Lemur!...

  5. However, I do see that at least one sweet and innocent soul has popped up on David's page.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.