Southern fiction, local fiction, historical fiction: Kim Michele Richardson's body of work shines. I was introduced to the Kentucky native's work a few years ago when her 2016 release, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field, appeared on the list of books to be reviewed by the Historical Novels Society.
I requested it and was bowled over by Richardson's vivid storytelling and skilled use of local dialect. She portrays with respect and dignity the families of Kentucky's Appalachian hills, creating characters RubyLyn and Gunnar Royal, whose lives and aspirations transcend location, economics, and time.
Author Sara Gruen says of GodPretty, "Beauty and sweetness weave a diaphanous fabric against the stark backdrop of poverty and cruelty."
In 2017, Richardson released the lauded novel The Sisters of Glass Ferry, an Editor's Choice in Historical Novels Review. Of Richardson's work in Sisters, the Southern Literary Review says, "Her evocation of the sensory world is astonishing, as is her handling of the intangible aspects of the environment: values, prejudices, and aspirations. She conjures a world that seems at once vividly present and broodingly haunted."
The widely anticipated The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is slated for release in 2019.
You can learn more about the author here: