Fifteen stories lifted from John I.’s years in the Cotton state. The central character that ties the stories together is William Vernon Johnson, otherwise known as “Billy.” These stories provide glimpses into Southern living, members of Billy’s family, his childhood adventures and misadventures, his young adult years as well as his final years as a grandfather. Go ahead! Take an afternoon walk down a lonely country road! The rabbits are cooking supper!
“Exquisite stories!” Set in Alabama over a period of fifty years beginning in the late 1940s, this exquisite collection of fifteen short stories provides snapshots into the lives of different characters. The link between the stories is Billy, AKA William Vernon Johnson. Though they can be read as stand-alone stories, the collection chronicles the life of young Billy from a young boy to a man enjoying his role as a grandfather.
Billy/William narrates several stories, but many of the stories are told in the third person, allowing for human experience to be revealed from several different perspectives. Author John Isaac Jones writes with elegant simplicity, yet his narrative is rich with detail and the keen observation of the human character.
Jones’s easy-going and familiar story-telling voice and descriptions place the reader in the heart of each story. The stories are simply told yet contains a paradox, an irony, a heartfelt lesson in love and life. There are many stories painting the portraits of the diverse people in William’s life, but the final story, GRANDFATHERS, brings the collection to a heartwarming close.
William draws parallels between his experiences with his grandfather, and his experiences as a grandfather with his own grandson, and brings the collection to a satisfying and heartwarming conclusion: “Both knew instinctively that nothing could stop the eternal transition from the old to the new. The forward movement of the big wheel was an undeniable certainty.”
ALABAMA STORIES provides a beautifully understated and compelling glimpse into human experience. – Reviewer Maya Fleischmann for Indie Reader
“A book I want to hug! I didn’t grow up in the South, and I had limited interaction with anyone from Southern states until I was 30+. I then had a supervisor from Alabama and saw the love, respect and closeness in his family. It was something I had never seen, but Alabama Stories brought those feelings back to me. We should all be fortunate enough to share the lives in this beautiful book.” - mikemacdonald72
“Every story is a joy to read! The author is a born story-teller. Every story in this collection is a joy to read. The reader enters a world where ordinary people come alive on the page. I felt as though I was sitting in the corner watching each character as they interacted with another. I was fascinated from start to finish. What a talented writer! If you knew nothing about the people of the South in the USA this novel will both enlighten and educate you while giving you great pleasure. What more can a reader ask for? Being an ex-South African my favorite story was the first one, PREJUDICE. The way the author depicts the young boy’s naiveté is brilliant. The relationship between Gladys and Horace brings to mind how people behaved once. – Amazon customer