Convicting arsonists and thieves in Macon, Georgia was never Harvard Law grad Natalie Goldberg’s dream. The pay is abysmal, the work is exhausting and her father, a famous civil rights lawyer, refuses to accept her new career. Assigned to a death penalty case, Natalie must prove her worth to her conservative colleague and to herself.
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In this finely crafted debut novel, Gayle evinces a superb mastery of character development, rendering Natalie’s various crises of faith with empathic authenticity, endearing humor, and enviable grace. – Carol Haggas, Booklist
Natalie’s dilemmas are perfectly played, and Gayle’s economical prose is peppered with sharp sentences…and clever fish-out-of-water observations. Don’t be fooled by the ditzy jacket art. – Publisher’s Weekly
Despite some tough subject matter, Gayle has written a very appealing first novel with an engaging heroine and a cast of very believable secondary characters.- Starred Review, Library Journal
The author’s use of language is captivating and rich with wry, self-deprecating humor. The first-person, present-tense voice allows the reader to shadow Natalie on her journey to find her heart and home. – 4 stars, RT Review
Stephanie Gayle is a witty and perceptive writer, and her first novel is a sharply observed and funny book.- Jay Atkinson, author of Legends of Winter Hill
Stephanie Gayle has written a story about a transplanted northerner stuck in the heart of the South. She makes this “duck out of water” adventure compelling and delicious. The Macon Chamber of Commerce should make her an honorary citizen. – Jackie Cooper