dot dot
Internal Links
bulletBook Reviews
Web Link
bulletCameron University
bulletScissortail Creative Writing Festival
bulletTaste of NOLA


Dakota Blues by Lynne M. Spreen article




Lynne M. Spreen's Dakota Blues spotlights the life of a middle-aged career-woman whose life moves from an eight-lane CA highway to a Dakota backroad with the sudden death of her mother. Karen Grace, the novel's main character, must choose between her current, fast-paced, materialistic, meritocracy and a life of reconciliation--a return to stronger, simpler, darker country roots. It's a journey that tempts the reader to evaluate his or her own life, shining a light on what is noble and good, lasting and rooted, tethered to foundational antiquity. As Grace loses her job and begins on her road trip, its emblematic symbolism is not lost on us. This could be your trip, too, dear reader. So, we, as readers, may observe Karen's transformation with both fear and excitement. Furthermore, this is a novel built on solid dialog, a cacophony of spirited women's voices: "She may have been tiny but she (Karen Grace's mother, Lena) was a spitfire...I remember she played drums in the high school band, which was unusual for a girl at the time." It's a novel built on swift, fully-realized detail, including the details of the kitchen and table: "Karen took a bite of hot potato salad, tangy with cider vinegar and dill."  Deft with internal dialog, Spreen portrays a strong, woman character with Machiavellian moxie, but a character also with a full, altruistic heart, one discovers, as the novel progresses. It's a full and complex, modern character--one you may recognize. Spreen plumbs the depths and gives a complex and intricate portrait of the career-woman Karen Grace, a possible Everywoman for our age. Having fashioned a debut novel with breadth and depth, Spreen is a writer to admire and follow.



Reviewed by Kevin Rabas. Kevin co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State University and edits Flint Hills Review. His stories and poems have been published in Nimrod,Cottonwood, Event, and elsewhere. He has three books: Bird’s HornLisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner's Red Guitar, and Spider Face: stories.



Book Reviews

American Dreams by Norbert Krapf article
Homing Instincts by Karen Guzman article
Expecting Songbirds, Selected Poems 1983-2015 by Joe Benevento
From the Extinct Volcano, a Bird of Paradise by Carter Revard article
Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem & Song by Donna Walker-Nixon article
Lavando La Dirty Laundry by Natalia Treviño article
Behind the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness (New Lit Salon Press, 2014) article
The Goatherd by Larry D. Thomas
A Walk on the Wild Side and Nonconformity: Writing on Writing by Nelson Algren article
The Lobsterman’s Dream by Larry D. Thomas
Pretty Boy by W.M. Cunnigham article
Communion by Nettie Farris
Catholic Boy Blues by Norbert Krapf
Choctalking on Other Realities by LeAnne Howe article
Ransomed Voices by Raby, Elizabeth article
Disenchanted and Disgruntled by Michelle Hartman article
Lives of Passion by Gene McCormick article
Uncle Ernest by Larry D. Thomas article
Subterranean Red by Kathleen Johnson article
Walking Toward Solstice by Anca Vlaspolos article
Blackjacks and Blue Devils by Jerry Wilson article
Night Flight by Kerry Keys article
Red Fields: Poems from Iraq by Jason Poudrier’s article
The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore article
The Kingfisher’s Reign by Jonas Zdanys article
Along the Watchtower by Constance Squires article
Petty Offenses & Crimes of the Heart by Mitchell Waldman article
Spider Face by Kevin Rabas article

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved by Cybersoleil A Literary Journal