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Amy Jo Burns

Author of Shiner

3+ Works 394 Members 44 Reviews

About the Author

Amy Jo Burns teaches at the Arts Council of Princeton and writes for Ploughshares. She lives in Franklin Park, New Jersey. This is her first book.

Works by Amy Jo Burns

Shiner (2020) 162 copies
Mercury (2024) 155 copies
Cinderland: A Memoir (1705) 77 copies

Associated Works

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture (2018) — Contributor — 672 copies

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Burns, Amy Jo
Birthdate
1981
Gender
female

Members

Reviews

“The truth turns sour if it idles too long in our mouths. Stories, like bottles of shine, are meant to be given away” (3).

One of my Spring Break reads (and one of my books from the Read My Shelf challenge) is this backlist book that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful. This multi-generational narrative captivated me from the beginning, luring me into this Appalachian atmosphere, including the dying cult culture of snake-handling and shiner.

This is a story about stories and moonshine, love and hope, religion and fear. It’s a story about before and afters: those moments of no return when life’s trajectory is set. And, really, it’s a story about the resiliency and bonds of women in this culture.

Wren Bird, the daughter of a mythical father, comes from the folklore of the rural West Virginia mountains. Moving from one religion to another in this coming of age novel, Wren must muster the courage it takes to choose her own life, her own home, her own family, even when she’s only ever been offered a “poverty of choices.”
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lizallenknapp | 4 other reviews | Apr 20, 2024 |
I loved that this novel revolves around a family of roofers, although their passion for their work was hard to understand until I read that the author grew up in such a family. There is the mystery of the dead body found in a church attic at the beginning of the story, and there is the relationship of Marley to three brothers, and the tension of a tyrannical patriarch and strong-willed (adulterous) matriarch. The author moves around in time to develop the characters and plot. There is much to empathize and situations to identify with in this book, and I hope the author's style becomes more polished in time.… (more)
 
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sleahey | 23 other reviews | Apr 5, 2024 |
Gosh this book is sad. But just hopeful enough to not be devastating.
 
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AngelClaw | 23 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
This is a family saga for people who are most interested in literary fiction that examines relationships between characters. Most of the characters are 3-dimensional, with things to like and dislike about them. Each person's perspective is understandable - the author is good at showing all the sides of an argument and how easily misunderstandings happen.

Shay's secret and Elise's troubles were both unsurprising. I missed Marley's mom in the second half of the book. I enjoyed Marley's relationship with Jade, though it was a bit sudden.

The writing was good. It took itself a bit too seriously - everything is deep and all the feelings are a little exaggerated. Sensitive readers probably don't have to be told quite so much. A little levity would've been nice.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookish First for an ARC in exchange for a review.
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Kaitlin_KL | 23 other reviews | Feb 27, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
3
Also by
1
Members
394
Popularity
#61,534
Rating
4.1
Reviews
44
ISBNs
12
Languages
1

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