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A Chosen Few

Bandeaux Creek
Between the Rivers,
Book II

Aunt Mag's
Recipe Book
Heritage Cooking
from a Carolina Kitchen

Between the Rivers

Carolyn Rawls Booth was born in Bladen County, North Carolina, in 1936 on a wedge of woodland between the Cape Fear and Black Rivers near Colly Creek. When she was two, her family was selected as one of the first homesteaders at Penderlea, a New Deal project created to help young farmers to make a fresh start following the Depression. Three years later her family moved to Raleigh, where Carolyn grew up and attended school, returning often to her birthplace to visit her grandparents and spend weekends and summers with them in the house in which she was born. The rich oral tradition in which she was raised provided the background for Between the Rivers, her first novel (Coastal Carolina Press, 2001), and its sequel Bandeaux Creek (Winoca Press, 2005).

Carolyn attended the Woman’s College at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro from 1954 to 1956. She married Richard Charles Booth in 1957. After her three children, R. K., Michael, and Sherry, were grown, she returned to college to study writing. At North Carolina State University, she earned a certificate in writing and editing in 1981. In 1986 she graduated from Meredith College, earning a degree in English and communications.

Carolyn worked for the Cary News from 1985 to 1988 as food editor and contributor of the weekly column “Creative Cooking,” featuring and photographing food, recipes, and interesting personalities. Carolyn was also a regular contributor to TASTE-FULL Magazine, writing gardening articles from personal experience and developing recipes and food ideas. She attended cooking schools at the Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs., W.Va., and studied with the late Julia Child.

While pursuing her a career in food and garden writing, Carolyn continued her education at Duke University, enrolling in the Certificate in Communications program and studying creative writing. It was in one of her courses that she began Between the Rivers, a novel based on a family story about how her grandmotherís home had been completely destroyed by fireónot once but twiceóand the only thing salvaged both times was her trunk of mementoes.

In Bandeaux Creek, the story of Maggie Lorena Ryanís emancipation as a woman and writer continues with the introduction of another family, the McBrydes in Wilmington. Elements in both novels reflect not only Carolynís love of the landscape between the rivers, but an abiding interest in Southern food traditions, rural architecture, medicine, and mental health. She has also researched and edited a handbook for parents of children with cerebral palsy.

A Chosen Few, the third book in the Between the Rivers trilogy, continues the saga of the Ryan and McBryde families in eastern North Carolina where they face a bleak future brought on by the Great Depression. When Franklin Roosevelt is elected in 1932, His New Deal programs hold great promise for young farmers like Len Ryan who has married Millie McBryde, hoping to qualify for Penderlea Homesteads, a farm city in Pender County developed by Wilmington entrepreneur, Hugh MacRae. New in this book is a family chart depicting characters in all three books

Carolyn lives with her husband, Dick, in Cary, North Carolina. In addition to their three children, they have six grandchildren. Carolyn has also written a Southern family cookbook, Aunt Magís Recipe Book: Heritage Cooking from a Carolina Kitchen (Winoca Press, 2004), based on food and food customs from her novels.


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