Hot Off the Press - December/January 2019

December 2018
Written By: 
Julie Flanagan

Book Reviews

Images of America: Pawleys Island
By Steve Roberts and Lee Brockington
Arcadia Publishing, 2018, $26.99

Pawleys Island holds a special place in the hearts of many. Whether you’re a full-time resident or a summer visitor, the feeling of peace felt while in the “oldest seaside resort” in America is undeniable.

Images of America: Pawleys Island is a three-centuries-long visual journey through this ethereal place. Starting in the first chapter, “Origins,” see some of the first plantation homes that gave the island its bustling start. Move on to the “Early Days” of visitors flocking to the seaside in the infant stages of resort tourism. “Getting There” shows means of transportation for traveling to Pawleys over the years, from riverboat to train to ferry to some of the first automobiles.

Chapter Four chronicles “Life After the Civil War,” showing how everyday life was lived in this part of the American South. “The Hammock Story” gives a brief history of the beloved product the coast is known for. The book closes with “Pawleys at Midcentury,” a look at the decline of rice culture as it led into the industries that still help drive Pawleys today—its golf courses and its beautiful beaches.

Images of America: Pawleys Island is a historical record filled with amazing photographs and fascinating facts. It is a perfect gift for the history buff, as well as anyone who has been touched by this special piece of the Grand Strand.

Jacob’s Bell: A Christmas Story
By John Snyder
FaithWords, 2018, $12.99

Jacob McCallum once had a life that any man would envy. With a booming Chicago business, a beautiful wife and wonderful children, he was on top of the world. After making some poor choices, he lost it all. Jacob falls deeply into the haze of alcoholism and spends his time jumping trains and traveling, working odd jobs just to survive another day.

After 20 years of living this way, Jacob has reached one of the lowest points in his life. Alone, dependent on alcohol, and homeless in the cold streets, he decides it is time to find his estranged children and make amends for the hurt he caused in the past. Jacob forges unlikely friendships along his journey, including with a pastor at the Salvation Army who gives him a place to live and a small stipend to do various jobs. As Jacob works to transform his life, he volunteers to become a Salvation Army Bell Ringer, where he meets and befriends a mysterious young girl who just may be the connection he needs on his path to redemption.

Is Jacob’s work on transforming himself enough to earn him the forgiveness he seeks from his children? Will his Christmas be filled with cheer or just more disappointment? This quick read is a heartwarming tale of love, faith and family and makes the perfect accompaniment to the holiday season.