Nancy L. (Denver, NC)
True Southern Drama
After slogging through the first chapter of this book (immature sorority and fraternity foolishness), it began to really get good! As expected in Southern families, each member is a Character! And each chapter gets you interested in that character - then you jump to another just as "unusual". I could identify with most of the family except Josh - whose overly descriptive chapter could have been omitted as far as I'm concerned! Love both the heads of the Johnston family - strong figures in their own identities. As I got into the book, I found I couldn't put it down - and did very little for two days but read - surprises throughout! I'm determined to read this author's other books, but I doubt they could be as absorbing as this one. Loved it!
Sue Z. (Mooresville, NC)
My land. The question is can a lady of a certain age, who lives at that mud-wallow of a lake (Lake Norman,that is) write an unbiased review of "Lookaway,Lookaway"? Well she can try. Of course, Wilton Bernhardt, bless his heart, has written a satire. But we have to ask ourselves, should satire be subtle and light-hearted or heavy handed and just plain old mean. Perhaps the reader should decide for his or her self. Maybe a trip to Charlotte will help make up the mind.
Eileen F. (Drexel Hill, PA)
Crazy Family in Dixie
This is a sprawling family saga of secrets and grudges told by members of the Jarvis Johnston clan. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different member of the family. The story went in many directions and reminded me of Tom Wolfe. I felt is was longwinded in some spots, especially concerning Southern Civil War history.
Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
Lookaway, Lookaway - a Dixie Land you might not expect
Wilton Barnhardt has written a book that is both hilariously funny and exceptionally intelligent. Jerene Jarvis Johnston is the quintessential Southern bell - charm on the outside and steel to the core. The story of her family - her husband who was supposed to be an important politician, her brother who was once a promising literary writer now churning out potboilers on the Civil War and their four children whom she drags unwillingly through her image of southern aristocracy - is both a scathing send up of modern life and a frantic attempt to hold on to a past that has disappeared and perhaps never existed. As the scandals pile on and the secrets of the past emerge, her determination to hold the path becomes rather courageous. A wonderful read - especially for those, like me, who are particularly fond of southern storytellers.