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Book Review

Book Reviews


book-pure-heart‘Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit, and Whiskey’

By Troylyn Ball with Bret Witter

Troy Ball grew up happily shadowing her father through his many business enterprises, so at a young age she acquired a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. When she married and had two boys born with special needs and severe health issues, any robust career was forestalled as she set aside her work to put all of her energy into caring for her family.

In an effort to ease her boys’ respiratory attacks, Troy moved her family from Texas to North Carolina. Moving into a rural area near Asheville, it was there that she met and befriended locals. Attracted to their stories and especially entranced by their tales of moonshine, she soon realized her calling: to make the best moonshine. Using the skills her father had taught her, and calling on help from various experts, she educated herself on the process and perfected it.

When her husband’s real estate ventures failed and her family faced financial ruin, she accelerated her own business plan in an effort to save her family. She brandished salesmanship, tenacity and connections to eventually become the founder and owner of the successful Asheville Distilling Company. This is an inspiring memoir about the strength of a mother’s love and a woman’s resilience.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

Review by Fay Jones

Dey Street Books

Publish date: Feb. 7, 2017


288 pp

Fay Jones was born with a love of literature, which was finely shored up throughout her early years by her parents and a beloved children’s librarian who wore the thickest glasses ever manufactured. Ms. Jones once won a coupon for a free ice cream cone after her suggestion for a name for the local Reading Is Fundamental mascot was selected.


book-the-girl-before‘The Girl Before: A Novel’

By JP Delaney

Suspense is difficult to do well. The avalanche of thrillers and mysteries appearing on bookstore shelves is a testament to the popularity of the genre, but striking that perfect balance of riveting story, unexpected twists and depth of character is not nearly as common. JP Delaney has managed to capture all of the prerequisites of the genre and avoid many of its pitfalls in the new book, “The Girl Before.”

Jane has suffered a terrible loss and needs a fresh start. She thinks she’s found one when she moves into the stunning and mysterious One Folgate Street. A quirky, demanding and austere piece of architecture, it is equaled in its intensity by its creator, a handsome architect who quickly captivates Jane. At the same time, the previous occupant’s life slowly intertwines with Jane’s in unexpected ways.

Written in a back and forth style that weaves the two women’s stories into a gordian knot of drama and chills, “The Girl Before” is hard to put down and even harder to forget.

Reviewed by Julie Goodrich

Ballantine Books

Publish date: Jan. 24, 2017


352 pp ♦



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