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Beloved writer Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—will warm your heart with this rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched ov Beloved writer Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—will warm your heart with this rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched over Moab with a generous eye, and by now he’s used to handling the daily dramas that keep life interesting for Moab’s quirky residents. But just after Winston receives some terrible, life-altering news, a feisty little girl with mysterious origins shows up in his best friend’s henhouse. Suddenly Winston has a child in desperate need of protection—as well as a secret of his own to keep. With the help of Moab’s goodhearted townsfolk, the humble and well-meaning Winston Browne still has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places. He stumbles upon adventure, searches his soul, and grapples with the past. In doing so, he just might discover what a life well-lived truly looks like. “Sean Dietrich has written a home run of a novel with The Incredible Winston Browne. Every bit as wonderful as its title implies, it’s the story of Browne—a principled, baseball-loving sheriff—a precocious little girl in need of help, and the community that rallies around them. This warm, witty, tender novel celebrates the power of friendship and family to transform our lives. It left me nostalgic and hopeful, missing my grandfathers, and eager for baseball season to start again. I loved it.” —Ariel Lawhon, New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia “Make no mistake. [The Incredible Winston Browne] is a classic story, told by an expert storyteller.” —Shawn Smucker, author of Light from Distant Stars Stand-alone historical novel Includes discussion questions for book clubs Also from Sean Dietrich: Stars of Alabama


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Beloved writer Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—will warm your heart with this rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched ov Beloved writer Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—will warm your heart with this rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched over Moab with a generous eye, and by now he’s used to handling the daily dramas that keep life interesting for Moab’s quirky residents. But just after Winston receives some terrible, life-altering news, a feisty little girl with mysterious origins shows up in his best friend’s henhouse. Suddenly Winston has a child in desperate need of protection—as well as a secret of his own to keep. With the help of Moab’s goodhearted townsfolk, the humble and well-meaning Winston Browne still has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places. He stumbles upon adventure, searches his soul, and grapples with the past. In doing so, he just might discover what a life well-lived truly looks like. “Sean Dietrich has written a home run of a novel with The Incredible Winston Browne. Every bit as wonderful as its title implies, it’s the story of Browne—a principled, baseball-loving sheriff—a precocious little girl in need of help, and the community that rallies around them. This warm, witty, tender novel celebrates the power of friendship and family to transform our lives. It left me nostalgic and hopeful, missing my grandfathers, and eager for baseball season to start again. I loved it.” —Ariel Lawhon, New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia “Make no mistake. [The Incredible Winston Browne] is a classic story, told by an expert storyteller.” —Shawn Smucker, author of Light from Distant Stars Stand-alone historical novel Includes discussion questions for book clubs Also from Sean Dietrich: Stars of Alabama

30 review for The Incredible Winston Browne

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    4.5 stars “Miss Anna Jordan accompanied Mr. Richard Hackle to the VFW dance in Mobile.” “Emmet Threet has returned from Detroit, Michigan, where he visited his brother, Earl, who is ill.” “Miss Eunice Freeman Hoyt was a guest of Miss Mattie Hicks. “The deviled eggs were delicious,” said Miss Mattie. “I made them.” “ (From “MOAB SOCIAL GRACES) Moab, Florida is a very small town and when you read the notices of happenings around the town in the early 1950’s, it’s a pretty dull place. However, they d 4.5 stars “Miss Anna Jordan accompanied Mr. Richard Hackle to the VFW dance in Mobile.” “Emmet Threet has returned from Detroit, Michigan, where he visited his brother, Earl, who is ill.” “Miss Eunice Freeman Hoyt was a guest of Miss Mattie Hicks. “The deviled eggs were delicious,” said Miss Mattie. “I made them.” “ (From “MOAB SOCIAL GRACES) Moab, Florida is a very small town and when you read the notices of happenings around the town in the early 1950’s, it’s a pretty dull place. However, they do love the Brooklyn Dodgers and there is excitement when they win the World Series. It’s not all innocence and gossip and pot luck suppers, and baseball, though. The human condition, life affecting things happen here as they do anywhere. There is terminal illness, alcoholism, people on the edge of poverty. There also is a little girl, who finds this town as she runs for her life and finds her way into the hearts of the people here. Jessie’s story is heartbreaking and unnerving and it takes a while for her to tell these kind people who take her in just who she is running from and why. This quiet town is now facing danger they have not seen before. I love these small town stories with a variety of characters. Some are quirky and at times provide a bit of comic relief, but most are characters that you’d want as a neighbor or friend. The time and place are so perfectly depicted and I felt I was right there . Okay, I’ll admit that there were a few minutes when I thought, this was a little corny, but the story has so much to offer. It’s about friendship, love, life’s seeming disappointments, about the goodness of people. There’s the Dodgers, too. And yes, Winston Browne is indeed an incredible man. A wonderful story that was perfect for me just now. I received an advanced copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    In the 1950's, Moab, Florida was a miniscule, one horse town in the Florida Panhandle. Population 912. Elevation 17 feet. Everyone in town was obsessed with baseball. "Kids in Moab chose allegiances early in life. A boy decided which team he would root for on the day he was born. The majority became a Dodger fan, but some traitors rooted for Mantle and Berra." Winston Browne, town sheriff, had persuaded WWLA to broadcast Brooklyn games since Mobile's minor league team, the Mobile Bears, were par In the 1950's, Moab, Florida was a miniscule, one horse town in the Florida Panhandle. Population 912. Elevation 17 feet. Everyone in town was obsessed with baseball. "Kids in Moab chose allegiances early in life. A boy decided which team he would root for on the day he was born. The majority became a Dodger fan, but some traitors rooted for Mantle and Berra." Winston Browne, town sheriff, had persuaded WWLA to broadcast Brooklyn games since Mobile's minor league team, the Mobile Bears, were part of the Dodgers farm system." On tinny sounding radios "...boys from the rural corn cribs and remote farm communities could hear about the fantastic...feats of Jackie Robinson...". Three older men worked on Moab's first community ball field. As reported in the town's weekly gossip column, "The Moab baseball field is nearly completed. Lights were erected last week by Mark Laughlin, Sheriff Browne, and Jimmy Abraham." Sheriff Browne aka "Win" had been watching over and patrolling the town since returning from WW II. Win however had a secret. "He'd endured gunfire in muddy European trenches...but...was frightened by a little old man in a white frock coat...[who said] get your affairs in order. Wallowing in self-pity was a death sentence in itself...He was not going to wallow...Winston Browne was going to live right up until he died." His changing priorities had a ripple effect on the community of small town Moab. "Eleanor Hughes did almost everything at Moab Methodist except preach the sermons. [She] had been Jimmy Abraham's steady girl...he didn't romance or marry her." It was the end-of-summer social and Jimmy was late. Winston appeared. "I could use some company tonight...consider me Jimmy's pinch hitter...You'd be doing me a favor, Miss Hughes." "Life. It could change so quickly...being dipped on the dance floor by a sheriff in a salt-and-pepper suit." "The scenery outside the train window...trees, fields, horses, cows, rivers, valley. [Ten year old Jessie] had no idea the secular world was so big with wide-open farmland and sunlight." "In some ways the infidels seemed more at ease with themselves than the temple brethren." Tangled in a homemade booby-trap in the henhouse behind Jimmy Abraham's Mercantile, she tried to defend herself with a spoon. A mystery child, a child soon to be lovingly ministered to and mentored by Eleanor and Winston. Baseball, a segway to unlocking the challenges faced by Jessie. Baseball, encouraging Buz Guilford to excel in what he did best. Baseball, Winston mentoring his little league baseball players. "The Incredible Winston Browne" by Sean Dietrich is a wonderful novel that depicts small town rural life. Dietrich is an inspirational storyteller who reminds us that "sometimes ordinary people do the most extraordinary things of all". I laughed. I cried. I thoroughly invested myself in the lives of the residents. Everyone deserves a second chance. Winston's kindness and compassion made him truly incredible. I highly recommend this tome. Thank you Thomas Nelson-Fiction and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    PamG

    The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is the best book that I have read so far in 2021. I would not have thought that a book set in the small fictional Florida town of Moab during the 1950’s would end up being a five star read. But this historical fiction with some suspense and action was excellent. It features fifty-two year old Sheriff Winston Browne who not only handles the normal sheriff’s duties, but is also the coroner and baseball coach. He even delivers groceries while doing The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is the best book that I have read so far in 2021. I would not have thought that a book set in the small fictional Florida town of Moab during the 1950’s would end up being a five star read. But this historical fiction with some suspense and action was excellent. It features fifty-two year old Sheriff Winston Browne who not only handles the normal sheriff’s duties, but is also the coroner and baseball coach. He even delivers groceries while doing patrol duty. After nine-year-old Jessie shows up needing help and protection, Winston’s life becomes more fulfilled as well as complicated. While the town rallies to help Jessie, Winston gets some bad personal news. As he deals with that, he also reflects on his life and continues to care for the town’s inhabitants (including Jessie), and finds he still has more heroic acts ahead of him. Winston shows tremendous character depth and growth during the course of the book. The other characters have varying degrees of depth, but it was adequate with some being complementary to the protagonist and some being oppositional. The author brought a strong sense of time and place to the events in the book. Whether it was the attitudes towards and expectations of women, the social and gossip columns, the church social events, the thrill of baseball, the daily Scrabble games, or the townsfolk looking out for one another, I felt transported to northwest Florida in the 1950’s. The town and its citizens came alive for me. While I wish the author had explained why Jessie had to initially run, I came up with my own answer that seemed plausible to me. The way Winston deals with his bad personal news has a huge impact on the reader, but that is just one of the dramas playing out. When you add in a teen that quits school so he can get a job to help support his mother and his alcoholic grandfather, mail that gets delivered erratically, a love triangle, and the people trying to locate and retrieve Jessie, you have a heartfelt and intriguing novel. There was a melancholy feel to the atmosphere at times, but there was also humor, hope, protection, love, romance, and friendship to balance it. The ending is impactful, uplifting, and insightful. Overall, this book was moving and inspiring. Winston Browne is a memorable character and I will continue to think about him for some time. This is the first book that I have read by this author but it won’t be the last. I highly recommend this novel. Thomas Nelson—FICTION and Sean Dietrich provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for March 2, 2021. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars My goodness, what a treasure this little novel is! I give credit to my Goodreads friend Pam G whose review I read. She said it is the best book she has read so far this year. Those of you who know Pam G know that she reads a book every day (from all genres no less), so this is very high praise indeed. Without reading the blurb I hit the Net Galley button and was lucky enough to be approved. What can I say about this book? It is simply a lovely down-to-earth story of a 4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars My goodness, what a treasure this little novel is! I give credit to my Goodreads friend Pam G whose review I read. She said it is the best book she has read so far this year. Those of you who know Pam G know that she reads a book every day (from all genres no less), so this is very high praise indeed. Without reading the blurb I hit the Net Galley button and was lucky enough to be approved. What can I say about this book? It is simply a lovely down-to-earth story of a small southern town, its dying sheriff and his best friends, the townspeople, and a frightened little girl on the run. Winston has lung cancer. But for the longest time, that doesn’t stop him. He continues his work as the town protector, baseball coach, adviser to all, and surrogate dad of two. He falls in love several times over. Though this is Winston’s story, there are other characters that will win your heart. Characters like Jessie, Eleanor, Buz, Tommy, and Jimmy. No one is related, but they are as true a family as they come. Next to the characters, I was most impressed with how Mr. Dietrich, rightfully nicknamed “Sean of the South”, portrayed the tiny Northwest Florida town of Moab in the mid 1950s. He nailed the ambience perfectly. I felt transported back in time to when I grew up in East Tennessee in the mid 20th century. It is one of the best portrayals of a town in this specific time period that I have read. This is not a terribly pacy book as it is mostly character-driven, but I read it fast as I was so absorbed in these people and their town. There is however a pretty darn awesome stretch in the second half of the book that is downright nail-biting. The last several chapters are so beautifully written. I cried a lot as I read those. The epilogue is perfect and so appreciated. Oh, how could I almost forget to mention the periodic “Moab Social Graces” daily news bulletins. They reminded me so much of my life in mid 50s Tennessee. “The Women’s Missionary Society annual trick-or-treat caravan will be meeting at 7:00 PM at Miller’s Drugstore. Costumes involving use of blood are not allowed. Mr. Martin Bass escorted Miss Laney McWilliams to the theater in Pensacola last Friday. Rev. Lewis has been called to a West Virginia parish and will be leaving Moab Methodist after two years of faithful service. Farewell party on Tuesday. Bring hot covered dish.” I laughed so much at these! So obviously, I am strongly recommending The Incredible Winston Browne to anyone looking for a fast read that squeezes the heart and supplies all the feelings. I will definitely read more of this author. Many thanks to Net Galley, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins, and Mr. Sean Dietrich for an advanced copy. Opinions stated are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. So now I really know what is meant by a "slow Southern style" - Sean Dietrich does a great job of selling his corner of the world to the rest of us "folk." The town of Moab, Florida, was caught in a cultural time warp: nothing much happens here, and nothing much changes. That is, until Winston receives bad news from his doctor, and decides to live whatever time he has left to the full. And t My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. So now I really know what is meant by a "slow Southern style" - Sean Dietrich does a great job of selling his corner of the world to the rest of us "folk." The town of Moab, Florida, was caught in a cultural time warp: nothing much happens here, and nothing much changes. That is, until Winston receives bad news from his doctor, and decides to live whatever time he has left to the full. And then the Fates grant Winston his secret wish: the knowledge that he did in fact make a difference in the lives of the town he protected all of his life. There is a fair amount of discussion about baseball. I have to admit that I had my usual knee-jerk reaction when my siblings would start discussing sports: my eyes glazed over and I tuned right out. But, thankfully, I would tune right back in as events heated up and all the town folk rallied round Winston Browne to help defend young Jessie from the evil people she was fleeing from. I loved the way the town rallied behind Winston and took turns sitting with him, right up until the very end. A truly heartwarming read with lots of humour and likable characters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This book blew me away! Sean Dietrich is an awesome writer. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. Parts will make you laugh out loud, and others will make you want to cry. This is the first book I've read by Sean Dietrich but I will be looking for more now. Winston Browne is the Sheriff of Moab, a small town in the Florida panhandle. He has just gotten some bad news from his doctor when a runaway shows up in town. The runaway will give no information about who she is or where she's f This book blew me away! Sean Dietrich is an awesome writer. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. Parts will make you laugh out loud, and others will make you want to cry. This is the first book I've read by Sean Dietrich but I will be looking for more now. Winston Browne is the Sheriff of Moab, a small town in the Florida panhandle. He has just gotten some bad news from his doctor when a runaway shows up in town. The runaway will give no information about who she is or where she's from, but the town takes her in as one of their own. This mystery has to be solved. Winston seems to play babysitter to the whole town and his good deeds abound. Also, there are a lot of baseball fans in Moab rooting for either the Dodgers or the Yankees. Winston is involved heavily with the town's baseball team and mentoring the players. The writing puts you in the story, you get the full picture of your surroundings - the sounds, smells, and the scenery; I felt like I was there. This book was so much more than I expected when I picked it up. Thanks to Thomas Nelson - FICTION through Netgalley - I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: His ankle was acting up, and he was pretty sure he'd pulled his groin. He hadn't moved this fast since he wore catcher's gear. By the time he reached the chicken house, he was limping like a lame horse and his ankle was throbbing. Whatever was making the noise was tangled in the homemade booby trap of pots and pans. Before he opened the door, he handed the lantern to Robbie. 'You hold the light, I'll scare him! Whatever you do, don't let him get away!' After a few deep breaths, Jimmy coc EXCERPT: His ankle was acting up, and he was pretty sure he'd pulled his groin. He hadn't moved this fast since he wore catcher's gear. By the time he reached the chicken house, he was limping like a lame horse and his ankle was throbbing. Whatever was making the noise was tangled in the homemade booby trap of pots and pans. Before he opened the door, he handed the lantern to Robbie. 'You hold the light, I'll scare him! Whatever you do, don't let him get away!' After a few deep breaths, Jimmy cocked the rifle, kicked open the door to the coop, and used such force he almost brought the little building down. Chickens screamed. Virgil fluttered his wings like he was possessed by the Devil. White feathers went everywhere. Jimmy barged inside, rifle in both hands. Robbie stayed beside him, holding the lantern outward. Jimmy dropped the rifle. He expected to see an old drunk, or a few teenagers, or a hobo tangled in wire and tin pots. But it was no man. 'That's your chicken thief?' said Robbie. It was a little girl. ABOUT 'THE INCREDIBLE WINSTON BROWNE': In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched over Moab with a generous eye, and by now he’s used to handling the daily dramas that keep life interesting for Moab’s quirky residents. But just after Winston receives some terrible, life-altering news, a feisty little girl with mysterious origins shows up in his best friend’s henhouse. Suddenly Winston has a child in desperate need of protection—as well as a secret of his own to keep. With the help of Moab’s goodhearted townsfolk, the humble and well-meaning Winston Browne still has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places. He stumbles upon adventure, searches his soul, and grapples with the past. In doing so, he just might discover what a life well-lived truly looks like. MY THOUGHTS: I honestly don't know how to describe this book. I loved the characters and the setting, and I really, really wanted to love this overall, but I just didn't. I liked it. I liked it a lot, but I just didn't quite fall in love with The Incredible Winston Browne. I loved the character of Winston Browne. He is everything to the town of Moab, and the town and its people have been everything to him, but now that he is dying there are a few things he realizes he has missed out on, including the love of a good woman. He has never married - and there is a story behind that - and has no children. But it's obviously too late for all of that - or is it? Life has a strange habit of filling the gaps in the most unexpected ways. I also loved the growth in Eleanor's character. I was amazed at how old the characters seemed for their age. They all acted a lot older than their age if you compare them with people of the same age today. But then they didn't have all the labour saving devices that we enjoy today either. If you look back at photos of people in the 1950s, they even look older. Jessie is the sort of character you can't help rooting for. She is determined and loyal. This is a good story that defies categorization. There is a little romance, a little thriller, a little drama. A little like life. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.3 #TheIncredibleWinstonBrowne #NetGalley #thomasnelsonpublishing #seanofthesouth @ThomasNelson @seanofthesouth1 #historicalfiction #sliceoflife #romance THE AUTHOR: Sean Dietrich is a columnist, podcaster, speaker, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, and The Mobile Press Register, and he has authored ten books. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Thomas Nelson via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    “Throughout his life and career, he’d seen enough senseless tragedies to know that wallowing in self-pity was a death sentence in itself. Some folks never quit wallowing once they started, and it killed them early. Self-pity was like a dangerous painkiller; it felt good somehow, but it turned you into its slave. So he made a promise to himself, right there, right then. He was not going to wallow. Not anymore. One morning of wallowing was enough. Winston Browne was going to live right up until he “Throughout his life and career, he’d seen enough senseless tragedies to know that wallowing in self-pity was a death sentence in itself. Some folks never quit wallowing once they started, and it killed them early. Self-pity was like a dangerous painkiller; it felt good somehow, but it turned you into its slave. So he made a promise to himself, right there, right then. He was not going to wallow. Not anymore. One morning of wallowing was enough. Winston Browne was going to live right up until he died.” The Incredible Winston Browne is the fourth novel by American columnist, podcaster, speaker, and novelist, Sean Dietrich. After a lot of poking and prodding by the doctor in Pensacola, fifty-two-year-old Winston Browne has a diagnosis, a decidedly unenviable one. He has been the Sheriff of Okeauwaw County in the Florida Panhandle since he returned from the war, and the prospect of a shortened future is unwelcome news: he’s not yet ready to “go to Glory”, as the obits put it. His job is not terribly challenging: Moab, population 912, elevation 17ft, is a tiny town that sits on the Escambia River, home to mill workers, drunks, gossips and old biddies making jellied salads, people who engage in church ice cream socials and complain about the unsightly new neon sign over Ray’s Café. Win and his moderately incompetent deputy, Tommy Sheridan spend their time doing odd jobs for local elderly people and widows, and delivering sacks of groceries to shut-ins. Win coaches the baseball little league and plays scrabble with his good friend, Jimmy Abraham. And, of course they all listen to the baseball: it’s 1955, and almost all of Moab is Dodgers mad. But just then, nine-year-old Jessie, strangely dressed and resolutely reticent, lands in Moab after an extended journey involvinga coded sentence, from a place to which she fervently wants not to return. She knows not to talk about it. People took risks to help her escape, and she’s not sure how she feels about what Ada wrote in the letter. Will she ever see her again? Will Ada make it out alive? Jessie is surprised at the genuine welcome she receives: even those people she initially fought off are kind to her; Eleanor Hughes, the Sunday School teacher, takes her in; Sheriff Browne takes an interest but respects her refusal to say more. Win makes enquiries far and wide, failing to find Jessie’s family. But when some strangers try to abduct Jessie, the townspeople close ranks around her. This disturbing little drama plays out against a background of fairly ordinary small-town happenings that include: a wedding, the town drunk drowning in the river, late mail deliveries because the Postmaster has no staff, a teen who’s quit school to support his polio-damaged mother, a magic spot under a tree festooned with coloured bottles, petrol theft, an unexpected love triangle, a tenacious red dog and a persistent gray cat. The Moab Social Grace column in the Moab Messenger is merely one (very entertaining) device that authenticates Dietrich’s rendering of the era and the town’s mindset: Margie Brach’s commentary is usually gossipy, often inane, and occasionally quite pointed: “Mr. Leonard Bradley and Miss Sylvia Grantham are engaged and are rushing the wedding.” Dietrich’s tale is wonderfully atmospheric: clearly, he is a talented storyteller, of the calibre of Stephen King, but without the paranormal aspect. He gives the reader a slow build to an exciting climax, but there’s also plenty of humour, some lump-in-the-throat moments and a beautiful resolution. A heart-warming and uplifting tale, brilliantly told. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Metcalf

    It's wonderful going into a book with high expectations only to find they're not only met but exceeded.    Such was the case for me with  The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich.  Not that I'd read this author before but friends had praised this book and   rightly so too.    For such a gently moving, character driven tale there was a lot going on.   There was intrigue.   There was friendship,  romance, sense of community, love and hate.    These two powerful yet conflicting emotions are s It's wonderful going into a book with high expectations only to find they're not only met but exceeded.    Such was the case for me with  The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich.  Not that I'd read this author before but friends had praised this book and   rightly so too.    For such a gently moving, character driven tale there was a lot going on.   There was intrigue.   There was friendship,  romance, sense of community, love and hate.    These two powerful yet conflicting emotions are such extremes yet it became clear how common it is for them to be experienced at the same time.  If I had to choose the element I appreciated the most I'd settle on the characters of small town Moab.  I especially loved Winston, Jessie, Eleanor and Jimmy although  we met many more of their 842 residents.  More than anything Dietrich's characters helped readers  know how it feels to be part of this close knit community Winston, the Moab county Sheriff and baseball coach, was such a likeable man.  He had never married and had devoted his adult life to his town.      From the first line of the book readers know Winston is dying but that secret is not shared with others. Instead of  allowing himself to mope he dives into making the most of  what's left of his life.   He finds extra meaning in the shape of a young girl by the name of Jessie and a teen boy named Buzz.   Both youngsters are in unusually tough places in their young lives and Winston does what he can to protect, nurture and care for them and in doing so he is surprised to find how much they have  enhanced his life.  He's filled with joy from simple things such as teaching Jessie to pitch a ball and introducing Buzz to the writings of Sam Clemens.    Dietrich did a sterling job of ensuring readers got a feel for the fabric of this society.    Without ever referencing a date we get the sense of time and place, the social norms applicable and their local customs.   He included some gorgeous touches including the Moab Social Graces in the local paper which made me chuckle every time they appeared.     Not only did they portray that small town feeling -   who was sick, who had Gone to Glory (died in other words), who had married (and how often), who danced with who at the Women's Missionary Social dance.    Pretty much gossip in print but it made me chuckle every time I read it, especially the continuing thread of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Allen.   This is Sam's second marriage. To cap it all off, not only did he make me laugh but he also made me cry.   Sean Dietrich has written a large number of books and the only surprise to me is that they're not more widely read than the Goodreads stats indicate.   This was a terrific book about community, family, friendship love and resilience and if it's in any way indicative of anything else he's written I'll definitely be reading him again. My thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide. 4.5 stars on Goodreads

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    4.5 rounded upward. The time is the 1950s; the place is Moab, Florida, a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else. Winston Browne is the sheriff; Eleanor Hughes is a frustrated single woman that fears she is headed for spinsterhood; and a small girl, Jessie, is on the lam from a creepy cult that considers her to be “a little abomination.” I read this book free, courtesy of Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. It’s for sale now. The story begins with Winston in his doctor’s office. There’ 4.5 rounded upward. The time is the 1950s; the place is Moab, Florida, a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else. Winston Browne is the sheriff; Eleanor Hughes is a frustrated single woman that fears she is headed for spinsterhood; and a small girl, Jessie, is on the lam from a creepy cult that considers her to be “a little abomination.” I read this book free, courtesy of Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. It’s for sale now. The story begins with Winston in his doctor’s office. There’s bad news about his chronic cough. Tests show it’s not only malignant; it’s metastatic. In other words, Winston should put his affairs in order. Winston is a friendly guy, but he’s also an introvert. He tells no one of his condition. He’s single, and there’s no family to warn, so he goes about his life about the same as before he learned his diagnosis. Jessie is awakened in the middle of the night by one of the Sisters, who hustles her into a waiting vehicle. She’s being busted out of the Temple compound by softhearted women that know the girl is doomed if she remains. Jessie has an independent spirit, and so when she is dropped off at the train station with instructions of where to go and who to trust, she follows her instincts instead. Her instincts take her to Moab, Florida. Eleanor—you can call her Ellie—is fed up with Jimmy. They’ve dated for year upon year, and she is so frustrated by his inaction that she can scarcely stand the sight of him. If he is so crazy about her, then why doesn’t he propose? She’ll never have a husband or a family, and it’s all his fault. But then Winston comes along, and the birds sing in the trees. For the first half of this book, I thought it would be a four star read. It was a good enough tale, but I had my reservations. For starters, where are the Black people in Moab? If we’re meeting the townsfolk—and we surely are—how is it that all of them are Caucasian? A visit from Jackie Robinson is all well and good, but this is Florida, for heaven’s sake. Is Moab a sundowner town? I run a quick search, knowing that the African-American population during this mid-1900s was much lower than it is now, and I am grudgingly convinced that there might well be a little town in the boondocks with only white residents. Back then, it could have happened, so…okay. It is during the second half that everything falls together and I am swept away by the characters. No more consulting the Google oracle; the intimacy has become too strong for me to step back. It’s difficult for me to find a feel-good book without schmaltz. Most books that are billed as heartwarming tend to make me roll my eyes or retch a little. Dietrich works magic, though, and although it takes a minute or two to reel me in, ultimately I am captivated. The droll, understated humor that drops in and out at just the right moments is a key element. The captions that appear regularly make me guffaw more than once; don’t skip over them! They’re terrific. The text is punctuated now and then by contributions from the Moab newsletter, whose minutiae underscores just what a dull place this town usually is. However, let me also say a quick word here about the audio version. I began reading this book close to the publication date, and so when I was partway into it, I checked out the audio book from Seattle Bibliocommons. By doing so, I could extend my reading sessions, switching over to the audio when I had to do something else with my eyes and hands. The author reads his own narrative, and he has a wonderful voice, warm with just the right amount of drawl. The best way to enjoy this book is to access both the print version and the audio; if you must choose one or the other, it’s a toss-up, perhaps with a slight edge toward the audio. Some readers will be pleased to know that there is no off color language or sex involved. If a movie were made based on this book, it would most likely show a General Audiences rating. Highly recommended to those that love a feel good story, historical fiction, or Southern fiction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received this from Netgalley.com. "Sheriff Winston Browne has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places." Winston is a likeable guy with the small town of Moab and its citizens his foremost concern. I could have read a whole story just about him. The secondary story of Jessie and the cult she came from was almost too much background and I think it distracted from Winston's story. Overall, an okay read and I would recommend this book. 3.75☆ I received this from Netgalley.com. "Sheriff Winston Browne has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places." Winston is a likeable guy with the small town of Moab and its citizens his foremost concern. I could have read a whole story just about him. The secondary story of Jessie and the cult she came from was almost too much background and I think it distracted from Winston's story. Overall, an okay read and I would recommend this book. 3.75☆

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jena Henry

    Sean Dietrich, master storyteller, is back with a book that will tug at your heartstrings, make you chuckle, then have you crying like your favorite coon dog died. Feel like your emotions are numb or blocked? This is the story to bring you back to life. And yes, I loved every moment of this story. In his tenth book Mister Sean takes us to Moab, Florida, in the Panhandle near Pensacola. (This area has been referred to as the “Redneck Riviera”, but we’ll assume that’s a compliment.) It’s the 1950’s Sean Dietrich, master storyteller, is back with a book that will tug at your heartstrings, make you chuckle, then have you crying like your favorite coon dog died. Feel like your emotions are numb or blocked? This is the story to bring you back to life. And yes, I loved every moment of this story. In his tenth book Mister Sean takes us to Moab, Florida, in the Panhandle near Pensacola. (This area has been referred to as the “Redneck Riviera”, but we’ll assume that’s a compliment.) It’s the 1950’s and the 800 residents of this small southern town go to covered dish church socials (Methodist or Baptist), play or watch baseball (Dodgers or Yankee fans) and keep their yards and gardens mowed and trimmed. Everybody minds everybody else’s business. Babysitting the whole bunch is the county sheriff, Winston Browne. He proudly served in World War II, and he loves his community. He’s the grownup everyone can count on. All the characters in this story are colorful, loveable, real, imperfect, and trying to live their lives the best way they can. Jimmy is Winston’s best friend, Eleanor runs the Sunday School, young Buz is poor and over his head. They think their lives are disrupted when a young girl, Jessie, mysteriously comes to town. Yes, their lives will be changed, but it’s due to something else. Winston has a bad cough. What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to have an incredible life? Read this beautiful book and find out. Yes, there are 9 books before this one, but each is a standalone book. If you don’t know Sean Dietrich, start with this book. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories. Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for a digital advance review copy. This is my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I have never read anything by this author before but it kind of reminds me of Frederick Backman or Charles Martin. Winston Brown is a well respected sheriff in the town of Moab, Florida but all of the Moabites lives are changed when 10 year old Jessie comes in to town. Sheriff Brown impacts the lives of so many of the residents of this quirky town where most of the talk is of the Dodgers and neighborhood gossip. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Smucker

    Sean’s writing is infused with the small-town South—you can smell the exhaust of the cars cruising down dusty back roads, and you can sense the warmth of the potluck meal on your plate. But while the South might move slow through the heat, Sean’s stories are anything but slow. There’s a subtleness there, yes, and a gentleness, but just beneath that surface there’s also a cutting edge you can sense but never quite see. Topping it off, in the midst of it all, is Winston Browne: the dying man you f Sean’s writing is infused with the small-town South—you can smell the exhaust of the cars cruising down dusty back roads, and you can sense the warmth of the potluck meal on your plate. But while the South might move slow through the heat, Sean’s stories are anything but slow. There’s a subtleness there, yes, and a gentleness, but just beneath that surface there’s also a cutting edge you can sense but never quite see. Topping it off, in the midst of it all, is Winston Browne: the dying man you find yourself cheering for. Make no mistake. This is a classic story, told by an expert storyteller.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

    This is a nostalgic story that touched a lot of different emotions but ended in a feel good way. Set in the mid twentieth century in a small Northwest Florida town, it brought back some memories of a slower lifestyle-one where everyone knew each other and each other's business but had a strong sense of community and friendships. Everyone went to the Methodist Church or the Baptist Church across the street in the fictional town of Moab. Winston Browne grew up in the town, went to Europe for World This is a nostalgic story that touched a lot of different emotions but ended in a feel good way. Set in the mid twentieth century in a small Northwest Florida town, it brought back some memories of a slower lifestyle-one where everyone knew each other and each other's business but had a strong sense of community and friendships. Everyone went to the Methodist Church or the Baptist Church across the street in the fictional town of Moab. Winston Browne grew up in the town, went to Europe for World War II and became a Captain in the Army. His girl did not wait for him so he has remained single for all of his fifty plus years. Now he is Sheriff, baseball coach, lover of the Brooklyn Dodgers (as are many locals) grocery deliverer and much more. While the story revolves around Winston and his whole life, it is about so many other interesting, funny, and realistic friends and townspeople. There is also a side story of the mystery of a little girl showing up in town and touching many lives, including Winston's. Sean Dietrich does a great job capturing the time in the Deep South where life moved slower. Lovely story that I recommend for those who want to read something a little different. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a wonderful, heartwarming story that has it all: historical fiction, heartwarming characters, southern living, a bit of mystery, and a story about finding hope, love, and acceptance after all. I loved reading this story centered within this small-town atmosphere of Moab, Florida. Even though it was in FL, the location felt as if it was more within the “deep south”. The community had a very 50s, quirky, creative vibe that brought along with it a un The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a wonderful, heartwarming story that has it all: historical fiction, heartwarming characters, southern living, a bit of mystery, and a story about finding hope, love, and acceptance after all. I loved reading this story centered within this small-town atmosphere of Moab, Florida. Even though it was in FL, the location felt as if it was more within the “deep south”. The community had a very 50s, quirky, creative vibe that brought along with it a unique and memorable set of inhabitants. I loved being placed within the community and felt at many times as if I was actually there. I loved the focal story of second-chances and finding love and home after feeling as if all is lost. The ending was wonderful and satisfying, however I cannot say that a few tears weren’t shed throughout the story. It was so warming. On a light note, I really enjoy baseball and relish the memories of going with my parents to many Indians games. I know, not the same team, but this book brought back those memories so easily. I really enjoyed this journey and am glad I read this heartfelt novel. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/2/21.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    Fans of small town fiction will delight in this well told tale! Set in 1950's Florida, in a one police car town, the colorful cast of characters spring to life with their fun dialogue, mishap adventures, suspenseful moments, and real life struggles. It had me laughing out loud, reading late into the night, and in tears even, not wanting it to end. An instant add to my favorite books list! Absolutely loved the main character, Winston Browne! He was indeed incredible, with his big heart, despite hi Fans of small town fiction will delight in this well told tale! Set in 1950's Florida, in a one police car town, the colorful cast of characters spring to life with their fun dialogue, mishap adventures, suspenseful moments, and real life struggles. It had me laughing out loud, reading late into the night, and in tears even, not wanting it to end. An instant add to my favorite books list! Absolutely loved the main character, Winston Browne! He was indeed incredible, with his big heart, despite his own personal struggles. His love for others shines through his actions, and his faithful friendships grow through adversity. The author does a great job bringing all of the characters' perspectives to light. The story flows seamlessly along, like the little river flowing through town. Superb storytelling, like a Southern style Garrison Keillor. Not a light tale with the serious issues mixed in, but the humor kept it from bogging down. Highly recommend! Solid 5 stars (See comment below for extra content details.) (I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    This was a surprisingly good book! It takes place in a small town and gives us a glimpse into their life. It was full of interesting characters and a few side stories. It’s kinda a baseball story and kinda just about the title character. It was well written and for me hits alittle close to home. I really enjoyed the book. Definitely recommend Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jena Henry

    Sean Dietrich, master storyteller, is back with a book that will tug at your heartstrings, make you chuckle, then have you crying like your favorite coon dog died. Feel like your emotions are numb or blocked? This is the story to bring you back to life. And yes, I loved every moment of this story. In his tenth book Mister Sean takes us to Moab, Florida, in the Panhandle near Pensacola. (This area has been referred to as the “Redneck Riviera”, but we’ll assume that’s a compliment.) It’s the 1950’s Sean Dietrich, master storyteller, is back with a book that will tug at your heartstrings, make you chuckle, then have you crying like your favorite coon dog died. Feel like your emotions are numb or blocked? This is the story to bring you back to life. And yes, I loved every moment of this story. In his tenth book Mister Sean takes us to Moab, Florida, in the Panhandle near Pensacola. (This area has been referred to as the “Redneck Riviera”, but we’ll assume that’s a compliment.) It’s the 1950’s and the 800 residents of this small southern town go to covered dish church socials (Methodist or Baptist), play or watch baseball (Dodgers or Yankee fans) and keep their yards and gardens mowed and trimmed. Everybody minds everybody else’s business. Babysitting the whole bunch is the county sheriff, Winston Browne. He proudly served in World War II, and he loves his community. He’s the grownup everyone can count on. All the characters in this story are colorful, loveable, real, imperfect, and trying to live their lives the best way they can. Jimmy is Winston’s best friend, Eleanor runs the Sunday School, young Buz is poor and over his head. They think their lives are disrupted when a young girl, Jessie, mysteriously comes to town. Yes, their lives will be changed, but it’s due to something else. Winston has a bad cough. What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to have an incredible life? Read this beautiful book and find out. Yes, there are 9 books before this one, but each is a standalone book. If you don’t know Sean Dietrich, start with this book. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories. Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for a digital advance review copy. This is my honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beth Ann

    I have been a fan of master storyteller, Sean Dietrich aka Sean of the South, for quite awhile after a friend introduced me to his writing. I am eternally grateful to her for that and am thrilled that his latest book, The Incredible Winston Browne, found its way into my life. This is a book that I will re-read and cherish -it's that good. Mr. Dietrich has won the hearts of many with his down to earth heartfelt stories and this piece of fiction, his 10th book, is one that will stir all of the emo I have been a fan of master storyteller, Sean Dietrich aka Sean of the South, for quite awhile after a friend introduced me to his writing. I am eternally grateful to her for that and am thrilled that his latest book, The Incredible Winston Browne, found its way into my life. This is a book that I will re-read and cherish -it's that good. Mr. Dietrich has won the hearts of many with his down to earth heartfelt stories and this piece of fiction, his 10th book, is one that will stir all of the emotions in you. I went from chuckling out loud to full out tears at times and loved every word on every page. Yes, I am a fan. Winston Browne is the proud sherriff of a small town in Florida named Moab. Home to around 800 residents this Florida Panhandle town takes the reader back to life in the 1950's where everyone knows everyone, goes to either the Methodist or Baptist church in town, and loves baseball. Baseball is a predominant theme in the book and it is fun to see how the story weaves around the Great American game. Winston Browne is sick but this book is about so much more than Winston's illness. It is an ode to the strength of the American spirit, the love of the small hometown, and the bonds of love that endure the most difficult situations. Each character in the book has grit and heart and I found myself loving each of them. From Jimmy to Eleanor to Bus --Jesse and Ada --they all stole my heart and I felt as if they were in my living room sharing an Ovaltine with me. (Sorry - no Lucky Strikes allowed in my house. ) Mr. Dietrich has a magical way of telling a story and this book is the perfect example. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson as well as the author for a advanced digital copy for my honest review. I honestly would give this one 10 stars if I could. Make sure this one is on your 2021 reading list.

  21. 4 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    In Sean Dietrich’s latest novel, The Incredible Winston Browne, a small 1950s town takes in a mysterious visitor whom they believe needs saving---but she might be the one who saves them. Dietrich reminds us that sometimes ordinary people do the most extraordinary things of all. Synopsis: In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched over Moab with a generous In Sean Dietrich’s latest novel, The Incredible Winston Browne, a small 1950s town takes in a mysterious visitor whom they believe needs saving---but she might be the one who saves them. Dietrich reminds us that sometimes ordinary people do the most extraordinary things of all. Synopsis: In the small, sleepy town of Moab, Florida, folks live for ice cream socials, Jackie Robinson, and the local paper’s weekly gossip column. For decades, Sheriff Winston Browne has watched over Moab with a generous eye, and by now he’s used to handling the daily dramas that keep life interesting for Moab’s quirky residents. But just after Winston receives some terrible, life-altering news, a feisty little girl with mysterious origins shows up in his best friend’s henhouse. Suddenly Winston has a child in desperate need of protection—as well as a secret of his own to keep. With the help of Moab’s goodhearted townsfolk, the humble and well-meaning Winston Browne still has some heroic things to do. He finds romance, family, and love in unexpected places. He stumbles upon adventure, searches his soul, and grapples with the past. In doing so, he just might discover what a life well-lived truly looks like. My thoughts: Dietrich warmed my heart with this rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. Slow to start, like a lazy Florida summer’s day, this novel crescendos midway through and if you have been patient enough to stick with it, you’ll be in love with Moab and those who call it home. It was good to be reminded at the start of a new year, that regardless of how old you are or how long you’ve been doing something, there’s still time to change! Eleanor is forever changed by the kindness shown to her by Winston, Jimmy is brought to his knees and changes in order to win back the love of his life, and Jessie discovers who she is and what it takes to call a place ‘home’ – all done through changing the way she thinks. The old adage ‘kindness costs nothing’ is played out in this novel and readers see firsthand what showing a little kindness can achieve. This is another good reminder for us as we start a new year. This heartwarming novel is available March 2, 2021. *deals with death experience after a battle with cancer, kidnapping and hostage situation* Thank you Sam Dietrich, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Fans of small-town stories will fall in love with The Incredible Winston Browne. This book is full of nostalgic stories set in small-town Moab, stories that reflect the normal ups and downs of real life. Grief and loss, friendship and love, but most of all, family. The families we make. Mr. Dietrich's rich prose is by turns full of wit and humor, compassionate and bittersweet with a powerful sense of place that left me feeling as if I had taken a trip to visit the community of Moab. I felt a roll Fans of small-town stories will fall in love with The Incredible Winston Browne. This book is full of nostalgic stories set in small-town Moab, stories that reflect the normal ups and downs of real life. Grief and loss, friendship and love, but most of all, family. The families we make. Mr. Dietrich's rich prose is by turns full of wit and humor, compassionate and bittersweet with a powerful sense of place that left me feeling as if I had taken a trip to visit the community of Moab. I felt a roller-coaster of emotions as Winston Brown's story was told. I felt this to be a compelling read, of how a seemingly 'normal' person can have an incredible influence on those who crossed their path. This is a story every reader's heart will embrace. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula Pugh

    Sean Dietrich writes a novel that will simultaneously break your heart and fill your heart with good emotions. The stories and people who encompass the months of Winston Brown’s life will both humor you and grip you. A great novel. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a wonderful, heartwarming story that has it all: historical fiction, heartwarming characters, southern living, a bit of mystery, and a story about finding hope, love, and acceptance after all. I loved reading this story centered within this small-town atmosphere of Moab, Florida. Even though it was in FL, the location felt as if it was more within the “deep south”. The community had a very 50s, quirky, creative vibe that brought along with it a un The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a wonderful, heartwarming story that has it all: historical fiction, heartwarming characters, southern living, a bit of mystery, and a story about finding hope, love, and acceptance after all. I loved reading this story centered within this small-town atmosphere of Moab, Florida. Even though it was in FL, the location felt as if it was more within the “deep south”. The community had a very 50s, quirky, creative vibe that brought along with it a unique and memorable set of inhabitants. I loved being placed within the community and felt at many times as if I was actually there. I loved the focal story of second-chances and finding love and home after feeling as if all is lost. The ending was wonderful and satisfying, however I cannot say that a few tears weren’t shed throughout the story. It was so warming. On a light note, I really enjoy baseball and relish the memories of going with my parents to many Indians games. I know, not the same team, but this book brought back those memories so easily. I really enjoyed this journey and am glad I read this heartfelt novel. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/2/21.

  25. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    What a well written book. I have heard of this author’s books but this is the first I have read but definitely will not be my last. He is spot on with the way he portrays the southern culture. This is a must read. I received an advance ebook from the publisher and Netgalley. This is my unbiased review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    If I could give this book 10 stars I would. A small town story, that is really so much more than that with characters and dialogue that will stay with you long after you read the last page. The description of the main character passing away is at once heart breaking and uplifting. Sean Dietrich should be so proud of this book

  27. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    4.5 Stars My brother and I often talk about how lucky we were to have experienced our childhood in what seems like a golden era compared to today. That's what lured me into reading this book. The book cover reminds me of the thriving storefronts of the boutique stores along Broadway in my hometown ( I still live here, so please don't ask me where). This book takes place in the fifties when there was still the Brooklyn Dodgers, who weigh quite heavily in this story. However, the story takes place 4.5 Stars My brother and I often talk about how lucky we were to have experienced our childhood in what seems like a golden era compared to today. That's what lured me into reading this book. The book cover reminds me of the thriving storefronts of the boutique stores along Broadway in my hometown ( I still live here, so please don't ask me where). This book takes place in the fifties when there was still the Brooklyn Dodgers, who weigh quite heavily in this story. However, the story takes place in a tiny, idyllic town in Florida called Moab, which didn't even have a population of a thousand people. This was a town where everyone knew everybody, and there was even a little publication where quaint things would be reported like who escorted who to a party, who took a vacation where, and who painted their house what color. The church held socials where people were asked to make pies, and there would always be jello and fruit mold concoctions. It was still scandalous for a woman to be seen wearing pants. Men played scrabble in the little shop across from the courthouse while nursing their coffee and smoking Lucky Strikes. The book's main character Winston Browne is the local sheriff. He had been in Europe in the war, and came back to find that his one true love married someone else. As the book begins it becomes evident that this town is obsessed with baseball, and especially the Brooklyn Dodgers. They are always glued to their radios when the game is on. Sheriff Browne was instrumental in getting the baseball field built. He idolizes Jackie Robinson. One day a little girl named Jessie suddenly appeared in town, clearly on the run and hiding from some unknown entity. Winston entrusts Jessie's care to one Eleanor Hughes, master flower arranger for the church. Another fact reveals itself early on in the book; Winston Browne is dying from lung cancer. He keeps it a secret from everyone. He is living each day to the fullest as if it is his last. Eleanor had been frustrated by her longtime boyfriend Jimmy who had never honored her with marriage. When he stood her up after she prepared for a big dance, to her surprise Sheriff Browne spun her around the dance floor. In fact, they danced the whole evening away. Eleanor began to feel like a woman reborn. Winston Browne was a man who never married and had children, but felt as though he were married to the public in his care. He safeguarded Jessie, and inspired in her a love of baseball. He also rescued a local boy growing up in a life of hardship to become his best self. His favorite author was Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, and he always carried around one of his books. In fact, at a funeral where the vicar never showed up, Winston read a beautiful passage from a Mark Twain book as the casket was lowered into the ground. This book, like the atmosphere in this sunny, nostalgic town, at first was slow moving. But as it crept to its end, it had me in its grip and I fought back tears many times. In the end, I loved this man, Winston Browne. Reading this book was such a lovely interlude, and I thank my Goodreads friend Angela M for drawing me to it based on her excellent review. Thank you to the publisher Thomas Nelson for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Obryan

    Storytelling is an art. It’s the skill takes brings forth mental images, memorable characters and an emotion that lingers long after the last words. Sean Dietrich, red-headed with a full beard, is an artist. The Alabama native, also known as Sean of the South, takes a simple story, a thread of a plot, and spins into gold. He’s done it with his previous books, but his latest, “The Incredible Winston Browne,” is the most precious gem of all. Winston Browne is the sheriff in Moab, a small, sleepy Fl Storytelling is an art. It’s the skill takes brings forth mental images, memorable characters and an emotion that lingers long after the last words. Sean Dietrich, red-headed with a full beard, is an artist. The Alabama native, also known as Sean of the South, takes a simple story, a thread of a plot, and spins into gold. He’s done it with his previous books, but his latest, “The Incredible Winston Browne,” is the most precious gem of all. Winston Browne is the sheriff in Moab, a small, sleepy Florida town. It’s a gentle time (the mid-1950s), for the most part, when baseball and helping your neighbor can bring the whole town together. Think Andy Griffith and Mayberry with a darkening cloud rolling in. We meet Winston as he and some old cronies are helping build a baseball field for the town of Moab. They want to do something nice for town kids, and grown-ups, who are playing in the streets and fields long after the porch lights come on. Living there is easy. The most excitement comes thanks to ice cream socials, the newspaper’s weekly gossip column and radio broadcasts when Jackie Robinson takes the bat for the Brooklyn Dodgers. No one but Winston and his doctor knows that he‘s dying of lung cancer. Life is moving along at a slow pace for everyone in Moab, Fla., except for Winston. He knows his days are limited, so he’s in a hurry to accomplish something, even if he doesn’t know exactly what it is. Winston grows impatient with friends who won’t commit to each other, a boy who’s missing out on being a kid, and a deputy who moves at the speed of mud. When a strange little girl turns up their town, hiding in a hen coop, Winston swears he will protect Jesse from those coming after her. Her arrival marks a change in the town, reinvigorating the townfolks’ spirit. They rally around the baseball-loving, rough-playing child who escaped from a religious cult, and in the process, several grown-ups discover feelings they thought died long ago. Winston and longtime friend Eleanor take in Jesse, forming an untraditional “family” and finding what they didn’t know was missing in their lives. To say more would give away the story, and it’s one you should read for yourself. And as sad it is to know that Winston Browne couldn’t defeat cancer, he did, indeed, live an incredible life, thanks to Dietrich’s rich descriptions and narratives. It’s a simple story with subtle undertones. “The Incredible Winston Browne” is pure Sean Dietrich, an author who writes in simple words and sentences, but who tells seemingly innocent stories that always carry a message. He loves the South and the people in its communities. Whether he’s writing his 10 novels, his podcast, newspaper columns, emails or even in recent commercials, Dietrich is pure “home-grown” who easily relates to readers as if they are his neighbors, distant cousins or strangers in the grocery store. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for my opinion

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a heartwarming novel which takes places in the mid-1950s. Fifty-two-year-old Winston Browne is the beloved sheriff in his hometown of Moab. He is more than just a lawman; he is caretaker for its residents. Winston does everything he can to keep the town’s boys out of trouble and he assists in forming a Little League team.  After having his heartbroken, Winston has no interest in getting hurt again. But after escorting Eleanor Hughes to a 4.5 stars. The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich is a heartwarming novel which takes places in the mid-1950s. Fifty-two-year-old Winston Browne is the beloved sheriff in his hometown of Moab. He is more than just a lawman; he is caretaker for its residents. Winston does everything he can to keep the town’s boys out of trouble and he assists in forming a Little League team.  After having his heartbroken, Winston has no interest in getting hurt again. But after escorting Eleanor Hughes to a town social, the two begin spending time together (much to the dismay of his best friend Jimmy Abraham). When nine year old runaway Jesse finds her way to Moab, Eleanor and Winston offer her a place to stay.  Jesse remains tight-lipped about her past until it catches up with her. With danger coming their way, will Winston, his deputy Tommy Sheridan and Eleanor keep Jesse safe from the people searching for her? Winston is a warm-hearted, compassionate man who spends long hours keeping Moab safe. He also delivers groceries to the elderly and takes fourteen-year-old Buz Guilford under his wing. After receiving unexpected news, he is a little more willing to give love a chance. Winston reassesses some of his life choices and with a newfound perspective, he decides to take a few more risks than he normally would. Eleanor has been going out with Jimmy for most of her adult life.  But she is growing tired of his unwillingness to marry her. After an evening of dancing with Winston, Eleanor resolves to make changes in her life. So, when Winston continues to visit her, she decides to see where their relationship takes them.  When Jesse initially comes to live with her, Eleanor is definitely out of her element. But she allows the young girl to keep her secrets and Eleanor discovers how much she likes caring for her. With Jesse spending a lot of time with Winston, she despairs of the girl’s tomboy ways. With a hint of mystery and a dash of danger, The Incredible Winston Browne is a captivating novel that is very touching. The characters are wonderfully developed with an array of flaws and strengths. Moab is an idyllic setting and springs vividly to life. The storyline is well-developed and thought-provoking.  Sean Dietrich brings this heartfelt novel to a poignant yet gratifying conclusion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    In the small southern Alabama town of Moab, pop 912, fifty two year old sherriff Winston Browne has just received some bad news from his doctor. It's the mid 1950s and with the Dodgers heading for the World Series, everyone is baseball mad. With the low crime rate in Moab, Winston has time to coach the little leaguers, in-between acting as the local coroner, delivering groceries to the elderly, playing scrabble with the old timers and scaring off courting couples parking in quiet spots. He's not In the small southern Alabama town of Moab, pop 912, fifty two year old sherriff Winston Browne has just received some bad news from his doctor. It's the mid 1950s and with the Dodgers heading for the World Series, everyone is baseball mad. With the low crime rate in Moab, Winston has time to coach the little leaguers, in-between acting as the local coroner, delivering groceries to the elderly, playing scrabble with the old timers and scaring off courting couples parking in quiet spots. He's not ready to give up on life and all that he loves yet. Into this small quiet town, arrives a small girl, Jessie. A runaway who refuses to speak about where she's come from or why she's running away. She's immediately cared for by the town with church stalwart Eleanor taking her in and Winston doing his utmost to search far and wide for missing children. Unknown to Winston, someone is looking for Jessie and she might not be safe even sheltered as she is in Moab. Sean Dietrich is a wonderful writer who brings to life the very likeable character of Winston Browne and the town that loves him. He has a lovely comic touch with his characters including Win's hapless deputy Tommy, Buz, the teenage boy trying to look after his mother, and Jimmy the overworked mailman and Win's competitor in love. Dietrich brings a marvellous sense of time and place to the novel, not just with the lead up to the Dodgers 1955 World Series win but with the social calendar encompassing charity dances, potluck suppers, church picnics, trick or treating at Halloween and Easter egg hunts. The fashions of the day also feature with Eleanor shedding her frumpy dresses and aprons in favour of more modern colours and styles, and causing palpitations by wearing trousers. Ongoing excerpts from the local paper's gossip column also add flavour to the doings of the town people and are guaranteed to cause a few smiles. A lovely, moving tale about love and friendship and finding your place in the world. With many thanks to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for a copy to read

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