By: Sean Dietrich
Sean of the South
Narrator: Sean Dietrich
Publication Date: 11/14/2023
My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC)
Sometimes it’s the most unlikely meetings that give us life’s greatest gifts.
1970s, Southern Alabama. Sixty-two-year-old Jeremiah Lewis Taylor, or “Nub,” has spent his whole life listening to those he’s loved telling him he’s no good—first his ex-wife, now his always-disapproving daughter. Sure, his escapades have made him, along with his cousin and perennial sidekick, Benny, just a smidge too familiar with small town law enforcement, but he’s never harmed anyone—except perhaps himself.
Nub never meant to change his ways, but when he and fifteen-year-old Waffle House waitress Minnie form an unlikely friendship, he realizes for the first time that there may be some good in him after all. Six-foot-five Minnie has been dealt a full deck of bad luck—her father is a convicted murderer serving a life sentence, her mother is dead and buried, and she has a Grand Ole Opry–worthy singing voice with no place to perform. Oh, and there’s the small fact that she’s unexpectedly pregnant, courtesy of a no-good high-school boy.
Gradually, Nub realizes the gift he’s been given: a second chance to make a difference.
Beloved Southern writer Sean Dietrich, also known as Sean of the South, once again brings people and places to life in this lyrical song-turned-story about found family, second chances, country music, and the poignant power of love and forgiveness.
Heartwarming Southern fiction from Sean of the South
Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Also by Sean Dietrich: The Incredible Winston Browne, Stars of Alabama, and You Are My Sunshine
Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South), a columnist, novelist, musician, and stand-up storyteller known for his commentary on life in the American South, returns with his latest novel, KINFOLK — a heartwarming lyrical song-turned-story about family (not always blood-related), second chances, country music, humor, and the power of love and forgiveness.
"Sometimes it's the most unlikely meetings that give us life's greatest gifts."
Set in a small rural town in Alabama in the 1970s, we meet protagonist, Jeremiah Lewis Taylor (Nub).
As the book begins, it is dark. A father's suicide (much like the actual story of the author and his childhood). Triumph over tragedy.
Nub is an alcoholic, the town drunk. His ex-wife has disowned him and his grown daughter. The entire town is against him.
His life changes when he meets Minne, a tall fifteen-year-old teen, down on her luck and works at the Waffle House diner.
She is pregnant by a high school guy who does not care. She just lost her mother. Nub cares for her and her circumstances. An unlikely pair may turn into something called a family.
And Minnie can sing! Could a dream of the Grand Ole Opry come true? Life has pleasant surprises on the way to redemption when all looks dim and bleak.
Minnie's father is a convicted murderer serving a life sentence, her mother is dead and buried, and she has a Grand Ole Opry-worthy singing voice with no place to perform.
Has Nub been given a second chance to redeem himself?
KINFOLK is a heartwarming story of trials, tribulations, disappointment, and sadness to joy, love, acceptance, belonging, and second chances. When life is full of overlooked miracles—they never happen the way you expect them to.
The entire book is much like a country music song. Great characterization with Nub, Emily, and Minnie!
KINFOLK is a thought-provoking and uplifting story of forgiveness mixed with humor, and the power of music reminding us that every person has worth and value despite their circumstances. Be mindful of that in your everyday life. You never know whom you may come in contact with that could change your life.
"People who understand you. People who make your life richer. Your people. Your kinfolk."
The author is a wonderful Southern storyteller. I enjoyed KINFOLK in the audiobook format, narrated by the author with his authentic Southern voice, which will capture you with vivid settings, humor, song, and skillful storytelling.
My first book by the author. KINFOLK would make an emotional and entertaining movie.
Thanks to HarperMuse and NetGalley for a gifted ARC and ALC in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Nov 14, 2023
My Review: 4.5 Stars
Kinfolk is the Southern story you've been waiting for.
-- Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
Sean Dietrich has a lovely, seasoned voice that's anchored by his deep understanding of the charm and depth of the South. Kinfolk, the latest in his oeuvre, is a heartwarming and well-told tale with lyrical writing that's as rich as my mother's grits casserole. I'm left satisfied, uplifted, and perhaps a little homesick too.
-- Boo Walker, bestselling author of A Spanish Sunrise
Sean Dietrich is a master at creating Southern characters who are relatable in their brokenness, hope, and perseverance. Laugh-out-loud colloquialisms bring sincerity and realism to small-town life. Kinfolk spins both a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale about family, redemption, second chances, and the power of love that moves us all.
-- Jennifer Moorman, bestselling author of The Baker’s Man
About the Author
Sean Dietrich is a columnist, novelist, and stand-up storyteller known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Southern Living, Reader's Digest, Garden and Gun, The Tallahassee Democrat, the Birmingham News, The Mobile Press Register, and his column appears in newspapers throughout the U.S. He has authored fifteen books, he is the creator of the Sean of the South Podcast, and makes appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.