The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall

Cover Image

Back of the book: When it came to men, Charlotte Belle strictly ascribed to the law of catch and release. As soon as she could get a man out of her bed, she threw him back in the stream. No, Charlotte did not need a man. She had money. She had her driver, Mr. Nalls, for heavy lifting. Sex? Her pond was well stocked. What else does a woman need a man for? And so it comes as quite a surprise to Charlotte that she can not stop thinking about the Reverend Thomas Jones.
To read the back of the book one might think that this book is all about sex. While it does figure into the plot (more than once) it’s really not what The Rock Orchard is about. Paula Wall’s writing is wonderful. I had a definite sense of atmosphere while reading. The sounds, smells, and sights are apparent. The characters are unique, real, sad, hilarious. I laughed a lot while reading. The one thing wrong with the book is the length – I wasn’t ready for it to end.
This would be a good selection for the 2009 Southern Reading Challenge hosted by Maggie (I think it begins in a few months).