As a celebration of southern women from the Colonial Era through the present day, Tales Through Time: Women of the South gives the reader an intimate peek at the romance, mystery, friendships, and betrayals that ultimately claim us all. Excellently researched and skillfully written, reading these stories, one after the other, is like traveling in a time machine from period to period. “Historical fact was simply our springboard,” the authors state. “After all, only a few facts are needed to kindle the fire of a good tale.”
The authors complement one another well. Joan Leotta’s polished narration and Edith Edwards’ daring choice of subject matter satisfy the reader’s appetite like a well-prepared meal. The stories in this collection pay tribute to various genres, including horror (Reflections of Evil), humor (Preacher Parker Learns a Lesson, The Wayward Mop), romance (Fan Coral, Love in Time of War), suspense (Recipe for Murder), and historical fiction (every story in this book).
All fourteen stories in this collection are well worth the read, but two are especially engaging. A Recipe for Murder involves Leah, a Latin expert and a specialist on the life of Julius Caesar, who makes two significant discoveries: a personal note to Caesar hidden inside an ancient fasces, and a personal betrayal that will change her life. The title tells you that a murder will be committed; the victim of that murder, however, is a surprise twist that will shock the reader.
In Preacher Parker Learns a Lesson, a crooked preacher is exposed by a clever boy who does not fear the consequences of his scheme. Indeed, he operates from righteous indignation, delighting the reader, who will surely have a good laugh at Preacher Parker’s expense.
Leotta is also a skilled professional storyteller who brings her stories to life with spoken as well as written words. She presently tells Fan Coral, included in this book’s Colonial Era, and is developing a show based on The Hurricane of Independence, also included in this book.
This book is a well-rounded and enjoyable reading experience. It gives the reader a bird’s eye view of what southern women have faced throughout the history of our country. These steel magnolias are survivors. Their strength is our hope.