Hello Great New Books friends!

It’s Wednesday, August 15, 2012, which means it’s the first day for a giveaway! (We love giveaways here at Great New Books.)

Great New Books August book pick: The River Witch

Great New Books August book pick: The River Witch

This month, we’re reading Kimberly Brock’s beautiful debut novel, The River Witch. If you haven’t begun reading yet, we hope this entices you to begin, and soon … it’s a wonderful book.

“Roslyn Byrne is a lost soul, sent adrift after a car accident that changed her life. Her career as a professional ballet dancer ends abruptly from her injuries and she also miscarries after the accident, leaving her insides as scarred as the out.

Through a friend of her mother’s, she finds a small home to rent on Manny’s Island in Georgia to work through her demons. The house belongs to the Trezevant family who have plenty of demons of their own. Urey Trezevant, Roslyn’s new landlord, and his young daughter Damascus have been struggling with the death of Damascus’ mother for a while. Ivy Cain, Urey’s sister, is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense woman with one eye on Damascus and the other trying to figure out what’s best for her family. Nonnie, a relation to Ivy and Urey, practices Hoodoo and believes Roslyn has been sent there for reasons yet to be discovered.

The Damascus River, which flows next to the property, runs through the middle of the story with its alligators, local folklore, music, and death are carried along in its current. Roslyn, along with the Trezevants, navigate through strong currents in their lives, trying to keep from getting pulled under.” –From Great New Books team member, Hallie Sawyer’s blog recommendation of The River Witch.

Names are an important part of The River Witch, twisted into the plot alongside the enchanting setting, pumpkins, alligators, and Southern magic. Our names give us meaning and place us as people on the vast map of time. This quote from the first chapter of THE RIVER WITCH gives perspective on the importance of Roslyn finding a name.

“We didn’t say one word about what had happened to me. There was no going back to change it, so what was the point in telling the story? Mama handled all the questions from the coroner and set up a time for the interment at the end of the week. She said we needed to pick out a stone. The baby deserved a name, at least.

“I can’t. Not yet. I don’t know who she was.”

I didn’t know who I was.” –Chapter One, The River Witch, Kimberly Brock

This week, leave a comment with your favorite name from The River Witch. If you haven’t begun reading, don’t worry! We want you to be able to participate in the giveaway even if you haven’t read the month’s book (we know how busy life can be!) so we’re making it easy. All you need to do is choose a favorite name (many are listed above, ie: Ivey, Nonnie, Damascus, Urey, Roslyn) and share your favorite name from The River Witch in a comment below. If you’re reading the book, we’d also love to hear why you chose that name as your favorite.

Now for the giveaway: since Jennifer lives in Prague, she enjoys reading while drinking coffee from local pottery called Polish Pottery, a heavy and soft-glazed earthenware made in the southwest corner of Poland in the town of Boleslawiec. Today, we at Great New Books are giving away a hand-painted coffee mug, of the valuable Unikat (unique) type, value $35, to one member of Great New Books who enters their favorite name from The River Witch in a comment below.

Polish Pottery mug, hand-painted in Boleslawiec, Poland

Polish Pottery mug, hand-painted in Boleslawiec, Poland

If you haven’t joined us yet, please do so by entering your email into the box on the right sidebar—simple—and you’re part of our book club! The running time to enter the giveaway goes until Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at midnight US Eastern time. On Wednesday, the 22nd of August, we’ll announce the winner of the Polish Pottery mug along with a special guest appearance from the author of The River Witch, Kimberly Brock, talking about the importance of names.

Thank you all for joining us, and don’t forget to leave your favorite The River Witch name in a comment below for your chance to win!