Thursday, December 15, 2016

#FRC2016: In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight-Chavers

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Pop Culture Conversations
Department: Women's Fiction Studies
About the book:

Named a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews 

Named a “Fall Must-Read” by * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle

Hailed as a “Best Fiction Book by Women of Color” at

Pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry,” forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director’s beach house―after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.

The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas “roots” and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.
In the Heart of Texas is full of interesting characters and a great plot line.  Jo has been living in Hollywood as a soap actress after escaping from the town that she grew up in, Midland, Texas.  She isn't an A list star, but she is making do with her work.  However, after an affair with her (married) director goes bad, she is forced to head back home in order to escape the backlash.  While she is at home, she becomes a drama teacher and tries to sort out her life.  She has a lot to think about and has plenty of attention from the locals.  The interactions between Jo and her family and friends are some of my favorite scenes!  This is a great story about reexamining one's life and gives you plenty of laughs along the way!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

A native of Dallas, Texas, Ginger McKnight-Chavers is a graduate of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School. She was a Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College, and her debut novel, In the Heart of Texas, will be released in Fall 2016 by She Writes Press. McKnight-Chavers currently blogs for The Huffington Post and The TexPatch, and she lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, daughter, and an overweight West Highland White Terrier.

Connect with the author:

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