July 26, 2017 Edition

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'Camino Island' offers
perfect summer escape

John Bland

John Grisham's latest novel, "Camino Island," offers perfect reading for a summer escape. A few pages or mini-chapters a night leave me transported from the every day worries and routines to a mental vacation getaway.

The fictitious locale, Camino Island, is said to be somewhat based on Amelia Island, Fla., on the Atlantic, just northeast of Jacksonville. Grisham's 2016 novel, "The Whistler," took place primarily on the Florida Panhandle.

Instead of a legal thriller, this book deals with books, priceless manuscripts of famous books by famous authors. The setting revolves around a popular bookstore on the island, and the main characters include the bookstore owner and several writers who live on the island.

In his novel, Grisham gives detailed imagery of island life, people and events. In one chapter, he describes a sea turtle coming ashore in the middle of the night and laying her eggs in a hidden beach location to avoid predators. He describes the book's characters in such an honest and believable way that you feel like you know them or someone much like them in real life.

In "Camino Island," Bruce Cable is owner of Bay Books and is host to many a book signing. He is also at the center of an undercover investigation.

"Camino Island" is available at the Lawrence County Library and is on sale locally where books are sold, including The Spider's Webb, the new bookstore and gift shop on West Main Street and owned by Penny Sloan.


Speaking of book signings, The Spider's Webb will be hosting writer George Jared at a book signing on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.

Jared's books are based on local and regional stories he covered as a newspaper reporter. The topics of his books, "Creek Side Bones" and "Witches of West Memphis," are definitely on the serious side, when compared to Grisham's island retreat.

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