One of the most eagerly awaited books of the publishing season, Robert Hicks's Widow of the South, is out and garnering more reviews:
New York Daily News: "Somewhere in The Widow of the South is a plot. It's buried, though, by the florid prose and straying story lines in a Civil War novel that offers more hysteria than history."
San Jose Mercury: "The Widow of the South doesn't have the imaginative depth and lyrical eloquence of Cold Mountain or the mythmaking epic sweep (or the sentimentality and racism) of Gone With the Wind. But what it does have is a shrewd author who knows and loves what he's writing about, and that helps give his book its narrative drive and emotional impact."
USA Today: "... the battle's carnage, as well as the poverty, hunger and terror experienced by a defeated South, takes a back seat to Hicks' pretentious meditations on maternal grief, God, love, death and morality. By the end, the reader is ready to holler, 'Scarlett, come home,' 'Inman, take me to Cold Mountain' or 'Ken Burns, load that DVD.'
Orlando Sentinel: "Though undeniably riveting in many respects, The Widow of the South is not without significant flaws. [...] Perhaps its greatest virtue, aside from bringing Carrie McGavock into the historical limelight and serving as a stirring elegy to the Blue and the Gray, is its indictment of war as our greatest inhumanity to man."
Man's inhumanity to man - I'm trying to remember which 1960s comedy show used that cliche as a running gag - but never mind. I think it's utterly charming that a reviewer could write that line "in this day and age."
Meanwhile, save a little pity for Hicks. Can you imagine your first novel getting this level of scrutiny? It's ranked 783 on B&N's sales chart and 652 on Amazon's.
Crying all the way to the bank, you say? Maybe.