A Glooming Peace This Morning


Product Details

Livingston Press at the University of West Al
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.29 inches | 0.42 pounds

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About the Author

Allen Mendenhall is associate dean at Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty, and editor of Southern Literary Review. Visit his website at AllenMendenhall.com


"Allen Mendenhall succeeds abundantly in presenting what he

himself calls 'the universal familiar' in his eighth book and debut

novel, A Glooming Peace This Morning. Setting his story in the

fictional county of Magnolia in the (also fictional) southern town

of Andalusia, Mendenhall shows his literary skills and strong

sense of place from the start, as Andalusia becomes an important

character in the book. Comparisons to Harper Lee's To Kill a

Mockingbird are bound to appear as readers encounter characters

reminiscent of Boo Radley (Tommy Cox) and Scout (Cephas, the

narrator) and long for an appearance by a lawyer with the chops

of Atticus Finch. When no Atticus appears, the town-and readers

of the book-are left to accept the 'glooming peace' and the

sad finality of the events that will affect Cephas and others forever.

The story, of course, is everything, as Mendenhall states near

the end of the book when he says, 'All vanishes . . . except stories.'

But I contend that the writing is also everything, especially when

a story is told by a gifted literary artist like Mendenhall. If you're

looking for a Hallmark story, look elsewhere. But if you don't

mind words like 'looming' and 'glooming' populating a narrative,

and you enjoy a good Fitzgeraldish read, this book is for you.

Forbidden love. Coming-of-age drama. Courtroom scenes. It's all

in there. Kudos to Mendenhall!"

-Susan Cushman, John and Mary Margaret, Cherry Bomb, and

six other books.

"Allen Mendenhall, in his glorious debut novel, mines the same

sacred riches of Harper Lee's Alabama, and I must say-he does

her proud. His coming-of-age story is 'old school, ' taking its time

with its wondrous setting and exploring the theme of injustice

and coming to terms with it as an older man looking back on his

life. The story is filled with characters that only Mendenall's exquisite

writerly mind could create and describe. They lifted from

the page. I look forward to more stories from this most talented


-Brent McClain, award-winning author of One Good Mama Bone


"Allen Mendenhall's A Glooming Peace This Morning is more than

a humorous, tightly narrated story of four boys on the precipice

of manhood in the South of the Seventies. This novel exceeds its

coming-of-age genre by exploring the universality of the human

spirit when confronted with violence, loss, lust, and justice. While

much is gained in the transition from boy to man, so much more

is lost when the narrator learns people are not who he assumed

they were. Cephas's first-person account immediately connects the

reader to each character, creating both empathy and shock as we

realize we have met them all in our own transition from childhood

to adulthood."

-Johnnie Bernhard, Hannah and Ariela

"In this book, Allen Mendenhall journeys back into the childhood

of a young boy named Cephas and follows him and his unlikely

friends as all of them grow and age. With the skill of Updike, the

author tells heart-warming and heart-breaking stories that will

keep you turning pages. It is a little masterpiece."

-Joy Ross Davis, The Madwoman of Preacher's Cove

"Allen Mendenhall delivers a unique and poignant story that

touches all the most tender places. With eloquent prose and a

poet's voice, he'll stir every emotion and leave readers better for

it. Southern literature at its best!"

-Julie Cantrell, Perennials