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Look Away, Dixieland: Volume 1 (The Look Away Series) Paperback – 26 Aug 2013
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About the Author
Marona Posey is a retired attorney, teacher and medical technologist. She worked in Forensic Medicine for a number of years and grew up in Alabama. She now resides in Texas, east of Dallas, where she lives with her husband. This novel placed as a finalist in the Writer's League of Texas for Mainstream fiction in 2010. This is her debut novel.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The plot quickly hooks our attention, when in the Alabama backwoods, abusive husband Owen Campbell is murdered while having incest with his 17-year old stepdaughter Jenna, already impregnated to boot. That night, wife Skye and younger daughter Carrie carry his body on a sled and dump him unceremoniously into the nearby Tennessee River during a fierce snowstorm in December, 1941, shortly before the Pearl Harbor attack. On the way back to their cabin, pregnant Skye's water breaks, so Carrie winds up helping her deliver a baby boy moments later. Jenna takes off the next day for parts unknown; and Skye and Carrie fear they must run as well to avoid murder charges, ironic since Owen himself was a murderer of a "revenuer" four years earlier when his moonshine still was discovered. Almost everyone thinks Owen did that deed, but with no body recovered, the detectives cannot pin it on him. Thus, the plot is set for we readers wondering all book long if the murders will ever be solved and what will become of Skye, Carrie, and the new baby; and Jenna and her new baby. Adding to the tension is Owen's brother Colin, another crook, who agitates the police all book long to solve Owen's murder, certain that the cabin women were involved. Colin is a foul-mouthed womanizer whose crude vocabulary may offend many a reader, especially women.
That said, the tale is gripping and entertaining, and shows off the author's ability to hold our attention with engaging creativity and pace. What is a pity are the literally dozens of word substitution errors (e.g., "though" instead of "thought" or "corner" instead of "coroner"), missing words or phrases, incorrect punctuation and use of pronouns, and incorrect dialogue attributions to the wrong character. Surely a skilled editor would have fixed all these mistakes, and probably improved the ending of the book as well. One should not end the tale with an abrupt new development wrought by new players; just move that up in time a little, and end with the tidy family reunion in California, creating a much more satisfying conclusion to the whole mini-saga. Even a fairly unskilled editor could have added another ratings "star" to the finished product.
The author teases with two chapters of a planned sequel (which we did not read), but we wonder if it will be possible to generate as much interest in the next generation of these characters without the underlying unsolved murders and rags to riches theme of this first work to energize the plot.
All-in-all, Posey is wonderful at spinning a yarn, but her word crafting begs for the use of an editor next time around.
It's disappointing that this is the second edition (as I understand it) and there are still as many editing errors as there are. The first one must have really been bad. But overlooking those, it's a nice novel.