Book Reviews - Southern Authors Worth Reading

August 2023
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the Publishers

Gullah Culture in America: Second Edition
By Wilbur Cross and Eric Crawford
Published by Blair Press, $19.95
Release Date: March 3, 2023

The Gullah culture is deeply rooted here in the Lowcountry and Gullah Culture in America celebrates that, starting right from the beginning pages in the foreward, “Going Home: How a Long-Lost Culture is Rising from Oblivion,” written by Emory Shaw Campbell, a Hilton Head Island native and Gullah community leader. 

Follow the journey of the Gullah people, African Americans who first arrived as enslaved West Africans to the sea islands of South Carolina and learn more about their distinct Creole language, cuisine, arts, religion, and traditions fused within their culture in each of the dozen chapters. 

Today, more than 300,000 Gullah people still live in the remote sea islands, but their way of life is endangered by overdevelopment and tourism. This book is an ongoing effort to preserve the story of their culture.

My Magnolia Summer: A Novel
By Victoria Benton Frank
Published by William Morrow, $30
Release Date: June 6, 2023

Following in the footsteps of her late mother, Dorothea Benton Frank, Victoria Benton Frank debuts in the publishing scene with this Southern summer beach read set in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. 
A blend of humor, fun, and romance, My Magnolia Summer follows main character Maggie Adams, nicknamed Magnolia, who was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but is following her dream of becoming a chef to New York City at Bar JP, one of the Big Apple’s hottest restaurants.

Maggie’s career and love life couldn’t be better until she gets a phone call from her sister in South Carolina, which forces her to return home, leading her down a twisted trail of three generations of family drama.