A Powerful Story of Motherhood, Seasons, and Snakes

A new edition of Snakes by Patricia Damery has just been published by Leaping Goat Press

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell

Snakes, a powerful story by Patricia Damery is a beautifully written novel about a woman coming to terms with family continuity as small farms are packed up and sold off at auctions to those who will never know who once lived there and made of them enduring homes. Angela leaves the Midwestern farm her family has worked for generations because the roads and fields and traditions are, in spite of their deep values, confining to her coming-of-a-age soul. She attends college in California, receives a degree in biology, becomes a teacher, marries, and has a family. When teaching proves to be an unsatisfactory career, she focuses on her new and all-consuming avocation of weaving. Continue reading

Goatsong

Tell Me About the Time When You Read a Novel Called ‘Goatsong’

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell

Each chapter heading of Patricia Damery’s beautifully written novel Goatsong begins with the words “tell me about.” Sophie’s daughter Stacey is asking her mother to tell her the old and ever-changing family stories about the days she spent as a ten-year-old child with the three Goat Women on Huckleberry Mountain and was reborn into the fullness of the world.

Young Sophie’s single mother works as a waitress at an all-night diner and sleeps all day, sometimes alone and sometimes with the man she brings home: “Ma didn’t want me making noise during the day while she slept, so I left the house and did all kinds of things most kids would not have the opportunity to indulge in, you might say.” Continue reading