Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Latest News of the Fair Hope of Heaven

Don Noble, Alabama's premier book reviewer, wrote some very nice words about my book The Fair Hope of Heaven/A Hundred Years after Utopia. His review, which was aired on Alabama Public Radio, can be read at this link. Click on the blue letters and read what the nice man said.

I love Don's thoughtful interviews on Alabama Public Television, and am angling for an appearance next time I'm in the state. Right now it looks as if that will be October. Whether I get a booking on the show remains to be seen. Watch this space for further information. In the meantime, go to or Barnes and or go to Page and Palette in Fairhope and buy the book.

Also, this was published in John Sledge's book column in the Mobile Press-Register on Sunday: "...Mary Lois Timbes is also inspired by memories of growing up in a simpler time and place. In The Fair Hope of Heaven, she has expanded and updated her earlier reminiscence of Fairhope, Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree. Her new effort features more stories and more characters. 'All little towns of the late 1940s an early 1950s were simpler and more nurturing than they are today,' she writes, but this particular one had a history of and until recent years retained a faint whiff of the bohemian.'

"Included in this delightful volume are portraits of such Fairhope icons as Ernest Berry Gaston (the founder), Marietta Johnson (of Organic School fame), Winifred Duncan (author of Webs in the Wind, a book about spiders) and Craig Sheldon (sculptor). Also highlighted are the bayside burg's more quirky facets, like the nudist colony that once flourished around 1910.

"Despite all the changes since Timbes' youth, Fairhope's magnificent natural situation remains impressive, and she gives it due coverage. The modest architecture and colorful, outsized personalities have mostly gone, but the sweeping bay views, dramatic gullies and warm evenings remain constant, and continue to draw visitors and new residents from far and wide. 'Fairhope may have changed as the world has changed,' Timbes concludes, 'yet it retains remnants of Utopia at its heart.'"

I've posted a great deal about the book on this blog, so if you want a taste, browse the blog. You can read more reviews here, and once you've read the book, you might post a review of it yourself!