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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

Between the Rivers

“Carolyn Booth writes with authority about people of privilege and of poverty in eastern North Carolina at the turn of the last century. The fertile landscape is a living part of this story and the historical details are rendered with remarkable credibility. This is a book to be read on at least three levels--for the lucid prose, the mystery of the personalities involved, and for the historical perspective on a region still struggling to find prosperity amid perpetual hardship.” Georgann Eubanks, Carboro, North Carolina

“What Carolyn Booth has done is to take the artifacts of her family history--a wedding dress from 1910, a battered trunk that survived two fires, a sister’s early death, a great grand-father who was a captain in the Confederate Army, and transform them into a vividly authentic picture of life in the rural South of a century ago. She has imagined a rich and complex cast of characters, and if you don’t always like what she does, you will never lose interest in the story.” Don McKinney, The Island Packet, Hilton Head, South Carolina

“Last night I read the last line on the last page and closed the book. My interest never flagged throughout my reading. The pages were not filled with a complex, heart-pounding adventure, but one of the everyday lives of people who could have been real and who were close to the land--the land of my ancestors. You certainly earned an A+ in weaving a story that captured that period in the relatively poor part of rural America following the War Between the States. Maggie and members of her family and that of her in-laws each occupy a place in my memory and provide a vivid picture as I sit here recalling their places in your book. I particularly congratulate you for providing an ending that avoided the Hollywood ‘and they lived happily ever after’ closure. The reader is left to contemplate that ‘fork in the road’ and decide what the future held for Maggie and Tate. I look forward to reading more of your informative, interesting and entertaining work.” John Croom, Savannah, Georgia.

“A strong plot propels Between the Rivers upstream. Although the novel is not explicitly religious, I suspect that readers who liked Katherine Marshal’s Christy will find it appealing. Between the Rivers is filled with details of everyday history, from the passing of the old turpentine industry with the wearing out of the pine forests, to the arrival of tobacco as a cash crop (relatively late) in the Southeast, to the early campaigns for women’s suffrage.” Ben Steelman, The Wilmington Star-News.

“Booth skillfully presents a time remembered by fewer and fewer Bladen County residents. Her own memories of her family’s farm during the Depression add a solid authentic touch to the story. Between the Rivers is part Gothic novel, part romance, part history lesson...but far from being a ‘bodice ripper’ or a dry history text, Booth tells a solid tale of a young woman’s hopes and dreams, lost loves and changing times. Jefferson Weaver, The Bladen Journal

“As I read the story, I could almost feel the sandy soil in Bladen County under my feet that I knew as a child when I would run barefoot down at the farm. The sayings and attitudes are still alive in our family today; traditions, respect and love for our elderly ones even though our family is growing farther apart geographically, genetically and to some extent, spiritually. Reading your story brought to my mind all the happy holidays and family gatherings we shared growing up. While change is constant, it is wonderful to have something that is like wrapping myself up in a cocoon of happy memories. Mama would have been so proud of you. I know I am.” My niece, Cynthia Averitte Boyles, Red Springs, North Carolina.

“This story of a North Carolina woman grabs you from the beginning, carrying you like rushing water across every page. Booth’s book is filled with beautifully drawn characters and splendid writing.” Faye Dasen, The Pilot, Southern Pines, North Carolina

Bandeaux Creek

“One of Bandeaux Creek’s major attractions is its clever use of historical background. Ms. Booth works in actual figures, such as Dr. Buren Sidbury, and real events, such as the Feast of Pirates, a rather rowdy predecessor to the Azalea Festival. [She recalls for us]...the summer that “Trouble”, a sperm whale washed ashore at Wrightsville, and the great hurricane of September 1928, which flooded much of Southeastern North Carolina as badly as Floyd would, some 71 years later.” Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News

“Author Carolyn Rawls Booth delivers suspense, authentic dialogue, and a vivid account of the years leading up to the Great Depression. The disappointment of farmers, now the last to work their land, as they watch their children move to the cities for jobs, and the dangers of Prohibition is contrasted with the excitement of bobbed haircuts, lavish parties on Wrightsville Beach, electricity, and the automobile revolution.” Angela Leeper, Our State Magazine, February 2006

“Carolyn Booth’s Bandeaux Creek is not another Between the Rivers...it’s a much grittier novel. Just as Between the Rivers reflected the gentler times of the late Victorian era and the societal changes of turn-of-the-century Carolina, Bandeaux Creek captures much of the darker side of the 1920's. Jefferson Weaver, The Bladen Journal

“Ms. Booth uses a deft hand to weave historical context into her sprawling family history...her love for each of the character is palpable on every page. Fans of the Southern family saga will love Bandeaux Creek, though I recommend reading Between the Rivers first. Lessa J. Scherrer, The Historical Novels Review.

“Booth has woven her novel securely into the fabric of Wilmington’s history. The mighty Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the streetcar system, historic buildings, a quirky Roaring Twenties celebration, and ever-seductive Wrightsville Beach: they are all here–with lots of fresh characters.” Susan Taylor Block

“...a taste of the Roaring Twenties moderated by the hardships of back country living and sweetened by the depiction of characters filled with love and devotion to their families and friends.” Cyrus D. Hogue, Jr, author of A Tangled Mass

A Chosen Few

“...the best of Booth’s trilogy. A Chosen Few is a real tribute to the Depression era folks, especially the women.” Beverly Tetterton, author of Wilmington: Lost but not Forgotten

“The next installment of the Ryan and McBryde family saga, begun in Between the Rivers and Bandeaux Creek, continues in the equally dramatic A Chosen Few...Booth doesn’t sugarcoat the past, offering a realistic view of this downtrodden time and Penderlea’s failures. She also conveys the characters’ unyielding determination to succeed and women’s ever-increasing independence.” Angela Leeper, Our State Magazine, October 2008

“Booth not only captures, but expertly recreates a painful time in the American South, and southeastern North Carolina in particular. This is no moonlight and magnolias version of history, but rather a truthful study in loyalty, personal torment, frustrated dreams and harsh realities set against a backdrop of the Great Depression, a time which changed our region just as surely as the Fordson tractor changed farming and Franklin Roosevelt changed government.” Jefferson Weaver

A Chosen Few weaves a most plausible and gripping story. Once I was caught in its web, I could not leave it for long without returning to read a few more chapters. Your character development of families being crushed by the realities of the Great Depression mirrored many people that I knew in our little town of Fayetteville. At a time when there were no food stamps, government aid programs, and counties being declared disaster areas, there were some who rose up in the face of hardship while there were others who gave up in despair, many becoming alcoholics. Carolyn, congratulations once again.” John Croom, Colfax, N. C.

Aunt Mag’s Recipe Book: Heritage Recipes from a Carolina Kitchen

“Don’t we all wish we had an Aunt Mag...a no-nonsense magnolia who ruled supreme over the family and its food? Carolyn Booth has collected authentic family recipes and mixed them well with the wisdom of Aunt Mag in her primer of down home cooking. From deviled eggs to the “perfect” pound cake, Aunt Mag’s Recipe Book satisfies. Nan Graham, author of Turn South at the Next Magnolia

“Carolyn, I can’t tell you how much your novels have entranced me. I loved Wilmington even before I moved south. But it wasn’t until I read your three novels that I got a real taste of the place. I relished every page, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your efforts and for the immense pleasure you brought me! Peg Knab, Wilmington, N. C.

Watch for my profile in Georgann Eubanks soon to be released book, Literary Trails of Piedmont North Carolina.

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