This book consists of nine stories; most of which are loosely connected but no attempt was made to follow a timeline or storyline. They are intended to stand alone as short stories. But, most take place in the mythical village of Phoebe in rural Virginia in the 1940s and 1950s. They are all told from the point of view of one narrator, many when the narrator was a child. Children in this time and place were often left to form their own understandings of events taking place around them in the adult world. The story, “My Father’s Necktie,” is representative of the effect on a young boy of his father’s paralysis from a stroke and the family dynamics that resulted. “A Family Tree” deals with the aftermath of World War II on the members of the Phoebe community. The settings of these stories are mostly intimate and domestic; a country store and old tobacco barn converted to a commercial garage for example. “Early Dylan: Five and Ten Cent Women” is about the narrator as he grows older and breaks away from his early life in Phoebe. All of them together form a dynamic picture of growing up in the old South.
Lawrence Judson Reynolds is from Concord, Virginia. He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro writing program in the middle 60s and studied under Peter Taylor. He was a founding editor of the Greensboro Review and has published there and in Cutthroat, Blackbird, Carolina Quarterly, The New Orleans Review, Christopher Street, and Descant. He taught writing workshops at the Virginia Highlands Festival for many years and also taught two semesters of fiction writing at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He lives with his wife, Margaret, in Richmond, Virginia.