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Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories

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This delightful collection of short stories from acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews), is rich in humor, as well as mystery and meaning. Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk ma This delightful collection of short stories from acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews), is rich in humor, as well as mystery and meaning. Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk magic to cast her latest spell. A girl coming-of-age dealing with death in 1940s Tennessee. A wealthy Savannah matriarch with gastrointestinal issues guarding family secrets. A good ol’ boy observing himself shortly after his death. An agoraphobic woman striking up a unique friendship with the girl across the street. And a band of seventy-year-olds finding healing in a mountain stream. Written in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, the eight short stories in Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories are all rooted in the southern landscape—from the steamy coast of Georgia, to the current day Atlanta suburbs, to the ancient Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Pull up a rocker on the front porch, take a sip of your sweet iced tea and lose yourself in these original stories of soulful southerners and their sultry landscape.


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This delightful collection of short stories from acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews), is rich in humor, as well as mystery and meaning. Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk ma This delightful collection of short stories from acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews), is rich in humor, as well as mystery and meaning. Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk magic to cast her latest spell. A girl coming-of-age dealing with death in 1940s Tennessee. A wealthy Savannah matriarch with gastrointestinal issues guarding family secrets. A good ol’ boy observing himself shortly after his death. An agoraphobic woman striking up a unique friendship with the girl across the street. And a band of seventy-year-olds finding healing in a mountain stream. Written in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, the eight short stories in Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories are all rooted in the southern landscape—from the steamy coast of Georgia, to the current day Atlanta suburbs, to the ancient Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Pull up a rocker on the front porch, take a sip of your sweet iced tea and lose yourself in these original stories of soulful southerners and their sultry landscape.

30 review for Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    DonnaJo Pallini

    Really enjoyed these short stories. Written by a true southerner! I Want to read Temple Secrets now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Susan Gabriel knows the Southern soul and represents it well in the depiction of her characters, scenes, and circumstances. Instead of my usual book, I listened this time to the audio version of "Grace, Grits, & Ghosts" as narrated by Holly Adams. I was not disappointed even though I missed turning the pages. Readers become immediately invested in her characters: the Temple family: Old Sally, Violet, Iris & Oscar, Rose, Ivy (as introduced in "Temple Secrets"), Louisa May McAllister, Johnny Monro Susan Gabriel knows the Southern soul and represents it well in the depiction of her characters, scenes, and circumstances. Instead of my usual book, I listened this time to the audio version of "Grace, Grits, & Ghosts" as narrated by Holly Adams. I was not disappointed even though I missed turning the pages. Readers become immediately invested in her characters: the Temple family: Old Sally, Violet, Iris & Oscar, Rose, Ivy (as introduced in "Temple Secrets"), Louisa May McAllister, Johnny Monroe and his sister Ruby(as introduced in "The Secret Sense of Wildflower"), Allison and Melody Whitworth, the Crawfords. There is much to love in her descriptions. Track 6, "A River Reunion", introduces a group of 70 some year old ladies (Julie, Maggie, Claire, Jane, Shirley, and Maryanne) who are collectively grieving events of the past and are described in these words: "...wrinkles like tree rings showing the number of seasons that they've survived." While the aforementioned books are not required reading (the audio version is a stand alone), I feel like you would be depriving yourself of some wonderful writing by dismissing them. Looking for a breezy front porch with a rocking chair and a glistening glass of sweet Southern tea, don't miss what Susan Gabriel has to offer. You won't be disappointed. I was given the audio book in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mikki

    Although I seldom like to read short stories, this book was a delight for me. A southerner by birth and rearing, I could not resist the temptation of these oh so true to life characters and stories. I was quite simply enchanted. I am an instant fan of Susan Gabriel and will definitely be reading more of her books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Calhoun

    I enjoyed this book of short stories very much. There were some that were about characters I’ve already met in the author’s books, and I loved revisiting those characters. The other stories were very good too!

  5. 4 out of 5

    La Reyna

    I enjoyed this book of short stories. They were very descriptive and held my attention even though each story was no more than 10 pages each. This is the first time I've read Susan Gabriel's work and I am going to seek out more from her. I enjoyed this book of short stories. They were very descriptive and held my attention even though each story was no more than 10 pages each. This is the first time I've read Susan Gabriel's work and I am going to seek out more from her.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Phillips

    Good book I don't usually like to read short stories, but I figured I'd check this book out. The stories are really quite good. Check it out for yourself! Good book I don't usually like to read short stories, but I figured I'd check this book out. The stories are really quite good. Check it out for yourself!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ronda Jones

    Wonderful I could not put this book down. I am now going to purchase the books relating to the short stories. These stories have it all.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marta Bare

    I truly enjoyed this book, enough so that I will be buying her books to learn more about the families in the short stories.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    Two of these short stories have been adapted from a longer work, a novel by the same name. However, I feel that all of these short stories could easily be turned into a great Southern book. I enjoyed reading them and wish to find out what happened to these ‘quirky, poignant and deep characters’.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Harner

    Grace, Grits,and Ghosts short stories I do like shirt stories and these are definitely different. This book is a quick read. Since I read these stories I will lol into the books that complete the short stories.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan P

    This was a book of short stories by the author of Secret Sense of Wildflower, which was a very good book. Most of these stories, however, were so short they were over before I could even get interested.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bothenjs

    Wonderful short stories As a born Northerner I have always loved stories of the south. The writing is just so well done in this book, you get involved in the stories. A beautifully written group of great stories

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen Fox

    Lovely short stories that evoke the slower pace of the south, along with sweet tea and magic potions. Revisited a few familiar places and characters and met a few more. A collection to make you homesick for a place you've never been. Lovely short stories that evoke the slower pace of the south, along with sweet tea and magic potions. Revisited a few familiar places and characters and met a few more. A collection to make you homesick for a place you've never been.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Loved the stories and the characters. Left me wanting more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    C

    Southern stories This is a peek into olden southern stories. Many people lived like what's portrayed in this short read. It's a good place to start. Southern stories This is a peek into olden southern stories. Many people lived like what's portrayed in this short read. It's a good place to start.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Edkin

    Love her voice !

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Parker

    Short but will fill you full! Great stories, you will laugh, think and maybe a few tears, but all in all these short stories leave you filled, but wanting more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    I'm reading a different version of this on my phone. The program is called Authors Direct. It is a nice way to read stories like this a bit at a time. I'm reading a different version of this on my phone. The program is called Authors Direct. It is a nice way to read stories like this a bit at a time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Roberts

    Excerpts from her other books mostly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessie M. Jackson

    Great distraction from covid-19 If I ever get to visit Savannah, I will stop by the Temple mansion . Maybe I will see Queenie in the garden.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I needed a short story for a short drive, and I am so thankful I stumbled across this one! It's my first introduction to Susan Gabriel, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her work! I needed a short story for a short drive, and I am so thankful I stumbled across this one! It's my first introduction to Susan Gabriel, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her work!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smith

    Short

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cook

    This group of short stories is a great introduction to stories by Susan Gabriel. After reading this collection, you will want to read all of her books. She definitely is a good story teller of Southern stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Disappointing I really wanted to like this but I was very disappointed in the stories. Yes they were tinged with that bit of Southern style but they were too short....even for short stories. Right when I was starting to enjoy them, poof -they were over. Now the 2 obits...they were clever but not a story. More like a filler-or even an essay. It could have worked for an "intro/out-tro" for the book. And the story about the friends, as touching as the story could have been-it was weird-in several as Disappointing I really wanted to like this but I was very disappointed in the stories. Yes they were tinged with that bit of Southern style but they were too short....even for short stories. Right when I was starting to enjoy them, poof -they were over. Now the 2 obits...they were clever but not a story. More like a filler-or even an essay. It could have worked for an "intro/out-tro" for the book. And the story about the friends, as touching as the story could have been-it was weird-in several aspects of the story. If this novella was supposed to encourage me to buy the books the stories were based upon-that's definitely not going to happen. As we say here in the south.....Fool me once, shame on you....fool me twice- well you know the rest.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anne Alexander

    This is a wonderful collection of stories that are quite various in subject, setting and characters. I like that diversity. There are a couple stories based on two of Gabriel's excellent novels - The Secret Sense of Wildflower and Temple Secrets. And there is a wonderful story about an unlikely friendship between a girl and her elderly agoraphobic neighbor. There are several quite humorous stories as well, including one about a guy watching himself have a heart attack and die (trust me, you have This is a wonderful collection of stories that are quite various in subject, setting and characters. I like that diversity. There are a couple stories based on two of Gabriel's excellent novels - The Secret Sense of Wildflower and Temple Secrets. And there is a wonderful story about an unlikely friendship between a girl and her elderly agoraphobic neighbor. There are several quite humorous stories as well, including one about a guy watching himself have a heart attack and die (trust me, you have to read it!). I love the writing and found the stories entertaining and at times moving. A great weekend read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Britt Lauren

    Wonderful! So wonderful I want more! I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of southern short stories. I have deep roots in the south, and these stories felt like home to me. If you like southern literature, you will love this book. This is a very quick but delightful read. Now I'm on the hunt for the author's novels! Wonderful! So wonderful I want more! I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of southern short stories. I have deep roots in the south, and these stories felt like home to me. If you like southern literature, you will love this book. This is a very quick but delightful read. Now I'm on the hunt for the author's novels!

  27. 5 out of 5

    erin demers

    Wished it didn't end! I loved this short book and didn't want it to end. I did think each story could've been a little longer and not end quite so abruptly. The characters are awesome! Wished it didn't end! I loved this short book and didn't want it to end. I did think each story could've been a little longer and not end quite so abruptly. The characters are awesome!

  28. 5 out of 5

    sharon murray

    So real I love the way this author makes me feel as if I'm right there in the story. Her sense of real people is spot on! She draws me in with laughter as well as sadness and awe for her description of her characters and her surroundings. She is so fun to read. So real I love the way this author makes me feel as if I'm right there in the story. Her sense of real people is spot on! She draws me in with laughter as well as sadness and awe for her description of her characters and her surroundings. She is so fun to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deidra

    Such a pleasant easy read - enjoyed the short stories and have her book on my To Read list now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Whitehead

    I loved all the short stories in this book. I wanted MORE! I will be looking for more books by Susan Gabriel.

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