Author: Dr. Dale Garland

Publisher: Revival Nation Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-926625-31-7

 

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Reading like a biography rather than a novel, Letters from Sweetwater covers the lifespan of its protagonist, Jesse Garmon, who has much in common with its author, Dr. Dale Garland. After all, they share the same birthday, attended the same public schools, earned doctorate degrees from Indiana University, are practicing optometrists, and have lived a good deal of their lives in the same locale—North Carolina. If you aren’t already in love with the majestic mountains and the tumbling streams of that state, believe me, by the time that you finish reading this well-honed tome, you sure will be. And, just as a mountain takes some effort to climb, or even to view from afar, at first the sheer 438-page length Letters from Sweetwater might appear to be daunting. However, once you allow yourself to ease into the flow of the text, you should find yourself succumbing to the sheer glory of it all.

 

Not an easy novel to read, with its multiple characters and many subplots, Letters from Sweetwater is, nevertheless, the more rewarding and thought-provoking, the longer that you spend on it. A novel of epic proportions and imbued not only with the spirit of the backwoods, but also with a keen sense of awareness of the bigger picture into which each of our lives ultimately fits, whether we wish it to be so or not, Letters from Sweetwater will bring out the rapture in your soul. Full of incidents that lead one to ponder the deeper meaning of life, this work is redolent with significance and filled with a deep sense of joy and tranquility, almost in spite of its being a high-class and sophisticated whodunit. Don’t forget that the author came to this work with a lifetime of writing behind him. As an optometrist for over thirty years, Garland took up creative writing to relieve some of the stress and tension associated with being a health care professional. Starting with poetry, he gradually worked his way up to short prose, until, at the age of 73, he finally produced this magnum opus. And magnum opus it is—as he himself says, “Having spent most of my life in North Carolina, I wanted to craft a novel that combined all of the elements of Southern living that I love: faith, family, friendship and majestic mountain settings. I’ve always admired the Southern tradition of storytelling, and I finally gathered the nerve to tell a story of my own.”

 

If you are looking for a straightforward story with no underlying themes, complexities and subtleties, this pièce de résistance is not for you. Letters from Sweetwater is a novel to be savored like finely matured old whiskey—if you try to rush through it, I can guarantee that all you will do is find it a deeply frustrating experience. So, read it over a holiday or when you have nothing else to do but taste, reflect and enjoy. The afterglow is bound, I guarantee, to linger much longer…     



Click Here To Purchase Letters from Sweetwater