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Fiction Review


Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky
by Julia Oliver
A Deep South Book, University of Alabama Press, 2001
ISBN: 0-8173-1134-3


Julia Oliver's Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky was first published by Black Belt Press in 1994, then reprinted by Plume/Penguin, and chosen as a featured selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club in 1995. The University of Alabama Press has recently reissued Ms. Oliver's debut novel as "A Deep South Book".

Set in the summer during the Depression, Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky is a story fraught with one woman's loneliness, desire, and rebellion against society's norms.

Twenty-year-old Callie Tatum, tired of watching the boll weevil turn ruin hopes and canning tomatoes, finds herself being drawn into a world unimagined amongst her family and friends. With only her housekeeper for company, Callie has an affair that leads to a tragedy forcing her to rethink her future.

When Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky was initially published, critics praised the book for its "graceful writing" (Publishers Weekly) and "storytelling" (Sandra Schofield). Hopefully, the most recent edition will allow readers who have read Ms. Oliver's most recent novel, Music of Falling Water, and her collection of short stories, Seventeen Times as High as the Moon, another opportunity to read her debut novel.

Julia Oliver is an independent writer living in Montgomery, Alabama.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


2002 Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved