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'An incredible depiction of small town life'

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'In West Mills' by De'Shawn Charles Winslow
'In West Mills' by De'Shawn Charles Winslow
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke to Adah Fitzgerald of Main Street Books in Davidson, N.C.

When Adah Fitzgerald picked up “In West Mills,” a new novel by De’Shawn Charles Winslow, she “very quickly realized that this could potentially be one of my favorite books of the year.”

“You know you’re reading a story that’s about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. It’s about a seemingly very ordinary community, but fairly early on, our main character — her decisions becomes so compellingly unusual that that’s the hook.”

The main character, Azalea, who goes by “Knot,” is a “fiercely independent but incredibly lovable woman in an African-American community in this small, nearly coastal town in North Carolina. This book wrestles a lot with friendship, love, lust and relationships with our parents.”

Knot “strikes out on her own at the risk of severing all ties with her parents, who are a prominent couple in the town she grew up in. Because she loves alcohol, and because she loves men, she has trouble holding down the job that brings to this North Carolina town; but because she also befriends a neighbor whose life’s work seems to be fixing people, they have this lifelong friendship that lets her live the life she wants to live, which is one that no one else approves of.”


“It’s really an incredible depiction of small town life,” Fitzgerald said. For people who loved Angela Flournoy’s novel “The Turner House,” Fitzgerald said this will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf.