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A wonderful recent review by Southern Literary Review:
Beyond the negative stereotypes so often found these days in contemporary Appalachia novels (think Winter’s Bone and Hillbilly Legacy), Malone Ridge also finds much goodness in the region and the people. The author describes the physical beauty of the area in lush details which convey its appeal. He finds people in the small community to be more often good than not, and time after time, the people in the novel rise above their own limits to do the right thing.
Indie Reader - IR Approved 4.0
MALONE RIDGE is carefully structured and Dill’s pacing is as exact and calculated as an experienced long distance runner. He builds rhythm into his prose, never too showy, and the story arcs step by step, always moving forward, the ending as satisfying as a runner must find the welcoming brush of tape held across a finishing line.
MALONE RIDGE is a beautifully written example of Southern fiction. The milieu will be familiar to readers of the modern masters of Southern fiction Barry Hannah and Larry Brown and while not quite scaling the heights of their best work, author James K Dill manages to establish his own voice with admirable grit and lyrical flair. His characters are finely honed and his dialogue is naturalistic yet always precise and poetic. The scene setting is superb with the dereliction of the trailer park set amidst the wider beauty of the countryside particularly evocative.
Author James K Dill shows great skill in keeping a perfect balance between despair and hope in MALONE RIDGE, a beautifully structured novel that is gritty and poetic with a heart that beats and pounds like the runner at the center of its story.
~Kent Lane for IndieReader
In this lovely coming-of-age novel, Dill evokes Malone Ridge as a place to leave. Then, slowly,
as life will, it becomes central to the heart. This is Malone Ridge, the place and the book together, a story as indelible and welcoming as home.
-David L. Robbins, New York Times bestselling author of War of the Rats and Isaac's Beacon
Readers Favorite Review
5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review!
Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers’ Favorite
Malone Ridge by James K. Dill follows a young woman's journey as she navigates the trials and tribulations of life to carve out a path for herself. Eve Malone was the star cross-country runner of her high school, eager to pursue further studies in college. However, her mother's failing health and her father's crimes force her to abandon her dreams and take care of her mother in a decrepit trailer in Nitro, West Virginia. After her mother's death, she leaves her home and makes for Alexandria, Virginia, where she soon finds herself homeless and panhandling on the streets. An artist named Baker provides her with sanctuary, and slowly, Eve starts getting her life back on track. While the two begin a romantic relationship, Eve follows her dreams and enrolls in college, making a name for herself racing cross-country. But what does her heart want?
James K. Dill crafts some vivid and memorable characters in this new adult drama that will pluck at your heartstrings and emotions, leaving you wanting more. Malone Ridge is a tale of resilience and hope and how people can claw their way back from adversity with a combination of stubborn determination and courage to follow their hearts and dreams. The narrative is well-paced and full of dramatic scenes involving character interactions you can't get enough of. Each character feels well-developed, and their grounded nature and realistic personalities make them thoroughly compelling to read. Eve's story kept me fully invested until the very last page. This is a
riveting slice-of-life story that I highly recommend.
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