My debut novel is coming out late in life and for me, that's right on time. I could not be happier.
I grew up in Galax, Virginia. Most of my stories are set in my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, but South of Heaven takes place in the North Carolina Sandhills, in Carthage where my family’s roots run deep. Please know that the Carthage in South of Heaven was born from long ago visits to see my grandmothers, a Carthage formed from hazy childhood memories that have become more imaginary than real. If you know the real Carthage, I apologize for misplaced landmarks and fictitious churches.
After living all over over the South—Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana—my husband, Lee, and I have settled back in Chapel Hill with our Springer Spaniel, Maggie. Nothing could be finer.
“Both deeply Southern and completely universal, South of Heaven is a spellbinding read concocted from the perfect combination of family secrets and generational shame as well as the healing light of reconciliation and acceptance. A beautiful debut from a voice that is as fun to read as she is gifted.”
Denton Loving, author of Crimes Against Birds
“An astute and stunning novel, I am fascinated by the mix of comedy and sorrow, delivered by a keenly observant writer. Fern's sweeping emotions will linger in your mind. Vivid with the cadences of a particular time and place--North Carolina in the 1990's—South of Heaven presents a dazzling comparison of fiery, idealized, long-ago love, versus the more complex experiences of love in middle age.”
Cary Holladay, author of Brides in the Sky: Stories and a Novella
“Wise and funny, Patti Meredith's story of love and possibility and emus is about coming to terms with life's twists and turns and finding bits of Heaven wherever you are. An enchanting debut from a natural-born storyteller, you'll laugh and cry and find your heart just a little bigger by the last page.”
Sonja Livingston, author of Ghostbread
“With an impeccable ear for dialogue, an artist's eye for detail, and deep understanding of the push and pull of family, Meredith gives us South of Heaven—a celebration of growth and survival when confronted by mistakes and denial and, ultimately, how people can be transformed by acceptance and the astonishing surprises we should all be looking for. A beautiful read!”
Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace and Galaxie Wagon
"I had to reach to remember those first days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when that’s all anyone was talking about. And what it might have been like to work in a small town for the weekly newspaper, back when there was such a thing. The late 1990s. Before September 11. Before gay marriage. Before so much crazy that has happened since. But that’s where we meet the unforgettable Fern McQueen in Patti Meredith’s new novel, South of Heaven. It takes about 90 seconds to adjust to the times and then fall in love with Fern, her family and the world of Carthage, North Carolina. What a splendid, satisfying read! The story of the McQueen family gives us lessons in forgiveness, redemption, and transformation, for sure, even a few tips for getting rich quick. There are moments I laughed out loud, times that I worried and cried. But, mostly, when I finished, I wanted to get in the car and drive to Carthage and see if I could find anyone who ever knew these wonderful people. I wanted to eat a biscuit, write a letter to my uncle, and even go to church. And I found myself wondering just whatever happened to Zig Ziglar."
Donna Campbell, Producer/ Writer/Editor--