Verbena: Nice to look at, ‘funner’ to read!


Nanci Kincaid. Remember that name.

I just discovered this author and I’m enchanted by her writing. My friend Martha Wells brought me her new book “Verbena” which I didn’t want to read or have time to read. But true to my Southern upbringing, I gushed and promised to read it pronto and get it back to her. I call this the “Southern White Lie.”

(Secretly, I was thinking “I’ll read a paragraph or two so I can discuss the book with her next time we meet.”) I’m deeply and negatively immersed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender is the Night” which is the book of the month for my book club. I’m sorry. It’s just plain tedious which tells you something about my intellect!

Well, I sat down with “Verbena” and was hooked. I read the entire book, and didn’t want it to end. Kincaid has a terrific knack for capturing Southern speech, and reflecting the culture of the south in a way only a Southerner will understand and appreciate. It is perfection.

Let me tell you just a smidgen about the book. It’s theĀ  touching account of Verbena Eckerd, a middle aged widow who puts her life back together even more spectacularly than it came apart… a story you want to share with others the moment you finish it… An honest portrayal of modern Southerners that’s touching without being syrupy, and character-driven without being trite and funny without trying too hard. I LOVE this book.

Kincaid has three other books under her belt and you better believe I’m reading them all. She wrote “Crossing Blood,” “Pretending the Bed is a Raft” and “Balls.” I understand she lives in Alabama – Birmingham I think. F. Scott pales in comparison.

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