The Woods at Barlow Bend Reviews

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5 Stars

Intriguing

By reviewer

This is a great read. A young granddaughter is assigned a project for school. She is to write about someone who lived during the Great Depression. She decides to interview her grandmother. This book is about a grandmothers surprising past as it is retold to her grandmother.


5 Stars

Couldn’t put it down!

By Shadow Kat

Absolutely enthralling story that reels you in and won’t let you off the hook till the end! I highly recommend this read for a weekend or vacation day when you don’t have to be anywhere or worry what time you get to bed because putting it down once you’ve got in a few chapters is nearly impossible.


 Five Stars

By L. Nierman

Amazing book! Not since the Secret Life of Bees and The Help have I not been able to put a book down. A must read…


5 Stars

A book of love lost, but what really happened?

By Deborah Willis “Deborah Willis”

You are there in person, whether you want to be or not. Just like Hattie, you will forever have your doubts about what really happened. You feel the hatred from the other family, something that was there long before “the accident.” Great sad story that for many will never had an ending.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Lisa Courser

Great reading, felt like I was there.


5 Stars

I loved this story

By Jessie L. Taylor “Late-nighter”

I loved this story. A good reflection on the way families were ‘in the olden days’. Grandma’s have the best stories and memories. I’ve got my eye on this author for more to come, hopefully. She has a wonderful way with words and descriptions. Great read!


5 Stars

Wonderfully gripping narrative that kept me interested from start to …

By ERW

Wonderfully gripping narrative that kept me interested from start to finish! As a busy working mom, I’m exceptionally picky about what books I pick up and even more picky about which books I ultimately finish. This passed both tests! I loved that it was based on real events, and I loved that the author let us in on a tough story in a way that still left me hopeful when the story concluded. I loved the twists and turns and felt like I was really walking through the towns and visiting each building right along with Addie. I could see each character vividly, due to the author’s animated writing style. As soon as I finished, I wanted to read it again, sorry to see the final page!


5 Stars

It’s her true family’s story

By Marilyn Burrows

The depression, love so accepting, family outings picking berries, apples, hunting and fishing. Tragedies, loss of a mom, deceptions, a twin sister shows love overwhelmingly, and a dad who took care of his family, his way


5 Stars

non-fiction

By the reader

Non-fiction and fascinating! Well written.


5 Stars

Amazing!

By Lindsey Davis

This story took me back to my own childhood sitting at the table over coffee while my grandma told me about her own childhood. Definitely 5 Stars stars in my book!!!


5 Stars

By Brenda J Nicholas

Excellent read. I couldn’t put it down!


5 Stars

I loved this book

By Mary Van Den Bosch

I loved this book. Could not put it down! Very well written, easy to follow. Great book based on true story. More like it please.


5 Stars

Good read

By Southern Yankee

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this story about coming of age in the 30’s.


5 Stars

Short, fast but good read

By Jo Ann Goodwin

Well written!


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Maggie May “Maggie May”

Good Read


5 Stars

Momma would be proud….

By D H Tillir

Just a glimpse of a time not too long ago. A time when family was everything. A time when the lessons you learned on mommy’s knees would carry you through the tough times. Very entertaining and highly recommended.


5 Stars

By sheri matson

Excellent read.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Regina

Loved this book, it’s set in the thirties down south


5 Stars

A look at the past

By Vicki Erp

Just finished this wonderfully written book! Fell in love with Hattie and felt like I was there as a part of her life. While it’s easy for me to disagree with some of her choices, I realize it was a total different way of life 90 years ago. In some ways life back then was much simpler, much more family oriented and definitely more mannerly! Very much in lack today! All in all I truly enjoyed this book!


5 Stars

Intriguing story that is well-written

By Alfred

I very rarely give anything 5 Stars stars, but I really enjoyed this book. The story itself was fascinating, and even more so because it is based on a true story. It was well paced, and the author did a great job of drawing me in from the very beginning. I liked that it wasn’t cut and dry, good vs. evil. Characters were nuanced, with everything shown from a young girl’s point of view, and it was interesting to see how that point of view changed as the girl matured. All in all, a very well-written book, well worth taking the time to read.


5 Stars

By lindy

Kept my attention!


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend by Jodie Cain Smith

By b

Such a good book. There was such a good story to be told. I just wasn’t able to put it down.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Kay P

I thought it was a great story. After I finished it I read it was based on fact.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Darius Belfon

found this book riveting. it really left me wanting more.


5 Stars

Turning sadness into joy!

By shirley clayton

A real page turner! The sadness of Hattie deserved so much more than Hattie got. Similar events happen in this world every day. Tender hearts will like this book!


5 Stars

A true story that I enjoyed

By Nancy M. Hammons

This was an outstanding story. I was very glad to see, at the end, that Hattie found Gordon, I felt that Hattie needed someone to truly love her. I didn’t realize until the middle of the book that this was a true story, Ms. Smith included photos of her grandparents, Hattie and Gordon. I really liked this book.


5 Stars

Inspirational

By Linda Cole

At first I thought this was fiction but I realized soon it was a true-life story. I was impressed how Hattie handle a dark time in her life


5 Stars

Great read! Put it on your beach/poolside list!

By Stephanie J

Fantastic storytelling by author, Jodie Cain Smith. The artistry of her writing will lead you to believe that you are personally observing every life-altering moment of Hattie’s turbulent adolescence and youth. I enjoyed being taken away to the 1930’s of rural Alabama and could not stop turning the pages to see how this true life drama would unfold. A true page-turner and great summer read! Looking forward to her next novel!


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend

By Sandra D Griffin

The story told here really touched my heart. All the little details made this very real to me. My heart went out to Hattie for her sorrows, joys and her ability to survive and thrive. The writing and narrative were outstanding Jodie! Thank you!


5 Stars

Loved it

By Dana Erysy

Once I started reading the book it was very difficult to put it back down. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, looking forward to more books from this author.


5 Stars

I thought that this book was very good. It was about Hattie who had to grow …

By Margie Rose

I thought that this book was very good. It was about Hattie who had to grow up way to fast after her Mother died. When Hattie was only 13 She also had to come to terms with the kind of man her father was. She had 3 younger siblings, which she had to help raise.


5 Stars

Enjoyed this one a lot!

By Reading enthusiast

I recommended this book to several people. It was well written and based on a true story as told from a grandmother to her granddaughter.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Mrs. Carolyn P. Ryder “Grinnie”

The book started a little slow but the pace picked up. Very interesting true story.


5 Stars

Great book. As far as I could tell

By JAN B THOMAS

Great book. As far as I could tell, it was based on a true story. Interesting insight into that time in history. Worth reading.


5 Stars

Thoroughly entertaining novel!

By Mary Ellen

Nostalgic story of family and life as it used to be in the south. Nuances of joy, pain, hardship and rural life. Once into the story I forgot it was being told by the granddaughter until the end. Brought back some memories and reminded me how simple life used to be and how difficult daily tasks were. I succeeded in not skipping to the ending prematurely so as not to spoil the story.


5 Stars

wonderful book in the series

By Sue C. Parker “Sue-C”

Not enough to say….wonderful book in the series. Did not disappoint!!!


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Toni

Loved it – could hardly put it down all weekend! Will definitely recommend this book to friends.


5 Stars

A Story That Stays With You

By Donna M. Cornett

Wonderful story. I have thought about the book over and over since I have read it. Beautifully written! Children were not children long a hundred years ago. They worked right along beside the family. Life was harsh and they had to cope or die. Wonderful true-life story. The author let us have a peek into her grandmother’s life. Thank you for that!


5 Stars

Jodie Cain Smith wrote a beautiful story. I enjoyed it from beginning to end

By AZ Reader

Jodie Cain Smith wrote a beautiful story. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It’s about the love of a mother, family dynamics, and the growth of a young girl facing many hardships. Even more, it is based on a true story.


5 Stars

somewhere in there is a love story that kept Jodie’s grandmother in its grip until …

By Rita Schwartz

Jodie Cain Smith has taken a story related by her grandmother and turned it into a novel worth reading. You are actually drawn into the lives of a depression era family. There is just the right amount of intrigue, lots of questions that may or not be answered in a lifetime, and yes, somewhere in there is a love story that kept Jodie’s grandmother in its grip until the day she died. I plan to read more Jodie Cain Smith in the future.


5 Stars

read it in a day!

By Rebecca.C.Nicoles

Using Bookbub, I’m downloading books like crazy. I started a job and have no time to read much so now I’ll quit a book in a snap. With so many choices in my library I don’t feel invested in any of them. So…finally here is something that I started on a Saturday afternoon and ended on a Sunday morning.


5 Stars

Full of surprises

By loraine

I enjoyed this book very much. It is interesting and somewhat sad, and definitely a must read!


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Sandra Petee

Very good


5 Stars

Five Stars

By T. Trosclair “trabae123”

Loved the book!!


Five Stars

By Kristi Lensegrav

Couldn’t put it down! Loved it!


5 Stars

AWESOME

By Marietta

Absolutely one of the better books I have read lately. I never put it down except to sleep. And I used a lot of tissues at the end. Very, very good book. Will definitely read more from this author.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By mkdav

Excellent read!


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Michelle Price

Love this book


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Elsie L. Collins

A REAL PAGE TURNER!


5 Stars

A Family Story

By Robbi Podgaysky

Imagine asking your grandmother about her past and hearing a story of love, betrayal and murder. From what I understand this is the authors first book and my opinion great job! This is based on a true story and author has written the story perfectly. Recommend to all. The main character Hattie, is a true hero!


5 Stars

Great story

By Tina Gohar

I enjoy real life stories. Wonderfully woven story of family and all the beauty and trials that go with it. Loved how the love of the Mother is written on the heart.


5 Stars

Wonderful.

By Kindle Customer

This book took me to Alabama in 1934. So well written, with great description…I finished this loving story with tears in my eyes but good feelings in my heart.


5 Stars

Great read

By Amazon Customer

I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. It was a quick read because I couldn’t put it down. It was incredibly interesting, even more so after learning that a lot of this story was based on the author’s grandmother. I would highly recommend this book


5 Stars

A journey

By Kindle Customer

For me it was a terrific story… Just reading page after page of a wonderful but hard life … Of a very smart young woman… Thanks…


5 Stars

Excellent

By Sonya Abercrombie

This book reminds me so much of family and friends, that were and are just as close as family. That’s the way southerners are. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s sad but at the same time uplifting and inspiring


5 Stars

Read and find out!!

By Catlady

This book was quite different! It starts off with a murder and the rest book of is about whether people thought he did it or not.


5 Stars

Lovely story

By Educator

Being a Mobile girl myself, I was immediately drawn to thus book…it was a tragic, yet inspiring story that I enjoyed immensely!


5 Stars

Yes, this is a good one!

By sparky

I’ve just finished The Woods at Barlow Bend. What a wonderful book this is! Being Southern, I could readily identify with the daily activities of this family and the consequences of the tragedy of their mother’s death. I think that perhaps the characterization of the mother, Addie, gave such depth throughout the story and added the fine details that made this a great read. The main character, Hattie, tells the story of the shooting of her mother during a squirrel hunting trip. Her father, Hubbard, is accused of murder. The one gunshot that killed her mother altered the course of Hattie’s life. The most intriguing thing about this book is the growth of the character, Hattie, just a child when her mother was killed, a child who must then become “mother” to her three siblings. Though she has hopes and dreams for her own life, the girl assumes her new role as mother, housekeeper, cook, and general caregiver to her family. But a series of fortunate occurrences, and Hattie’s own determination, free her from that bond and allow her to have at least a semblance of the life she’d dreamed about.


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend

By Bee-Friended “Bee-Friended”

I liked the book from the beginning to end. Easy to read and had many details of life in Alabama at that time. It came with a tragic story, a young girl had to overcome. I would recommend to anyone who likes reading about Alabama and it’s past.


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend

By Amazon Customer

What an interesting book! It gives you a real idea of what it was like before DNA testing. Did he or didn’t he kill his wife??


5 Stars

Loved it!!!

By Misti Cheetham

I loved this heartwarming true tale of growing up, tragedy, realization and enlightenment of a beautiful soul this earth was blessed to have among us.


5 Stars

Loved this author’s style and character development!

By Amazon Customer

This was one of those books I could not put down!! I felt like I got to know the characters and was so engrossed in their lives that I was disappointed when I read the last page!! I will definitely read this author again!


5 Stars

Touching and Fascinating

By Michelle Charnigo

I didn’t want to put this down. Read it all in one lazy day. A very touching story. Would live to read more from this author


5 Stars

I Loved This Book!

By Patricia Kenworthy

I loved this book. It reminded me a great deal of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. The gentle handling of a young girl’s grief and difficult subjects was reminiscent of Harper Lee.


5 Stars

This is a very well written book. It is …

By Delores A.

This is a very well written book. It is based on a true story and literally tugs at your heartstrings. I could not put this book down.


5 Stars

Really good read

By fshinbaum

This book is so faithful to rural Alabama women. The author tells a good story and you get to know and care about the main character, Hattie.


 

5 Stars

Captivating

By Yaffe

This was an exquisitely told story that drew me in from the first few sentences. I wasn’t able to put it down.


5 Stars

Heartwarming

By Bibliophile 76

I stayed up until 5 Stars AM reading this book. Now, I have tears in my eyes and I woke my hubs up to tell him I loved him. Great book, great story, and a great woman who did not feel sorry for herself.


5 Stars

Heartwarming

By lusu

This is just a sweet homespun story with a bit of mystery left to one’s own imagination. It harkens back to another time yet is timeless


Five Stars

By Sherry

What a great book. She made it live. You felt like you were right there. I would like to read another book by her.


5 Stars

Life is what you chose to make it

By C terry

This book had the style of to “Kill a Mockingbird” which has always been a favorite. It is a reminder that as adults our actions affect our children in various ways. Once started this book was hard to put down, had a wonderful flow……..looking forward to others from this author!


5 Stars

This is a must read book.

By Granny Sage “Diane Wallace”

I’ve gotten so used to mediocre to bad writing on free books that I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book. Boy, was I wrong. This is a superb story based on life of the author’s grandmother. I stayed up all night reading it because I couldn’t put it down. The main character had strength tempered with innocence, an innocence that is broken too early in life. And I wonder, what if I had asked my grandmother or mother more stories about their lives. After reading this book, I want to write one like it, but the main characters are gone now. This is a must read book that will stay with you for a long, long time.


5 Stars

Great read

By Sacky

Nice warm story that had me hooked from the beginning. Well written. Really liked that’s it was based on a true story.


5 Stars

Glad I read this

By B. Raker

The fact that this is based on the author’s grandmother’s true story made it mean more to me. It was a good story and a moving glimpse into a young woman’s reaction and growth due to a family tragedy.


5 Stars

Engaging story.

By Barbara Haas

Well-developed characters and story based on factual family history. Interesting to see how Hattie was able to develop such strength in the face oh such adversity. Some good lessons for us all.


5 Stars

Truly, a very good story.

By Jennifer Szendi-horvath “JenSzen”

This is an honest and sweet story of a woman’s tragic childhood, told by herself to her granddaughter. The author has written this with so much dignity, gentleness and honesty, that I will follow her as an author.


5 Stars

Heartwarming

By Kindle Customer

Goodness! What an emotionally charged true story written for us by Hattie’s granddaughter! I heartily recommend that you journey with this family as they escape the poverty of their dad’s poor choices–and choose productive lives.


5 Stars

Couldn’t put it down

By JLF

Unfortunately this was based on a true story, but that added to the mystery. It was very well written and the author did a fantastic job with character development. I just could not put this book down. I could feel the emotions of the characters as I was reading the book. Jodie, your great grandmother would be very proud of the work you’ve done!


5 Stars

Wonderful story!

By Gary M

I was under the impression that this was a fictitious story about the struggles of Americans during the depression. I found that although the time span was within the years of the depression this book became less about deprivations due to economic factors and more about industrious attitudes, free thinkers, and the familial problems, which have been reoccurring for all of human history. As I mentioned a wonderful story which will touch every reader deeply.


5 Stars

Wonderful

By toni

This book had me in the first few pages. It was one of the best books I’ve read this year. Finishing was bittersweet. I felt like I knew these people.


5 Stars

Review

By Larry W Otte

What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be. I started reading it after a random pick. An excellent read.


5 Stars

Good reading

By Annie

Had to keep reading to see what was going to happen to Hattie next. A real life story. Hated for it to end


5 Stars

Wonderful and warm

By Michelle Strohl

Fantastic, didn’t want to put the book down. Sad when story was done. Could put myself there and feel for Hattie


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend.

By Todd

The book is beautifully written. Had me tears in parts and had me laugh out loud in other parts. It helped me with the loss of my beautiful mother. To remind me of the lessons she gave me. That she will always be with me.


5 Stars

Story of a Strong, Brave, Woman

By Jean

Based on the true story of her grandmother, the author portrayed a difficult childhood that might have made a bitter, untrusting adulthood, but instead led to love, accomplishment and a good heritage for her descendants. I am glad I learned about Hattie.


5 Stars

I loved it

By a morgan

A story told by a grandmother to her granddaughter about her life as a teenager and the shocking events about her parents. Characters are so true to life probably because this is based on a true story. Told without vulgar language or explicit sex.


5 Stars

Loved this story.

ByMarilyn A Warner

This story grabbed me right from the beginning….takes place in Alabama where I now live and the time period would have been when my mother was growing up. I identified strongly with Hattie, I also was the oldest child and had a lot of responsibility as well. Loved it.


5 Stars

An achingly beautiful story!

By Patricia Wenger

I’ve read hundreds of books on my Kindle, but this one has to have been the best. Excellently written, highly emotional, it’s a story that will stay in my mind for a long time. I would give it ten stars if I could!


5 Stars

Great book

By Carl two “Carl two”

This has made me understand life a bit better, a very enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this book to all who enjoy life.


5 Stars

Very surprised

By Amazon Customer

I started reading thinking it was a scary story, when I finished my feelings were that it was scary but a lot more. Won’t tell you anymore about the book, but by 5 Stars stars it should be known that it was a wonderful story.


5 Stars

A real Southern tale

By traveler5 Stars5 Stars

This book reminded me of something Anne Rivers Siddons would write. I’ll definitely read more by this author. Hattie is a true heroine.


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend

By Annie Katz

This is the story of a young girl who tragically lost her mother. At the age of 14 she became the acting mother of 3 siblings and housekeeper for an unsavory father. Her true life story was interesting and uplifting.

I enjoyed this book.


5 Stars

Wonderful

By Whitney

I really have begun to enjoy depression era novels. This one is beautifully written and impossible to put down. I only wish I could talk with my great-grandmother about her life experiences. She, too, died on Easter 1996. I will recommend this novel to EVERYONE.


5 Stars

A really great book!

By shevie

This was a perfect book! Absolutely no glitches in editing. The story, part fiction, was spell binding. It grabs you, makes you a part of the story. I can picture myself in this book, experiencing the same reactions as the main character. Read it, you won’t regret it.


5 Stars

Couldn’t put it down

By Book lover “Suzie”

i really enjoyed this book. I was hoping to find more by Jodie Cain Smith, but this seems to be her only book.


5 Stars

Wonderful!

By KH

I absolutely loved this book! So well written, it had me from the first page! I would have love to have coffee with Hattie, Addie and Hubbard!


5 Stars

A true story with a few changed names

By Gisela Proctor

The story really pulled me in. Great characters and the Epilogue brought tears, need I say more? I highly recommend it


5 Stars

The Woods at Barlow Bend

By nown

Lovely book, expertly told. Family tragedy…triumph of will…coming of age all rolled into one marvelous novel. I have visited or driven through all these little Alabama towns mentioned in the book, even attended a three day concert at Thorsby High School years ago. But I never knew about the boarding school. I wonder if it’s still there. I felt a real connection with the characters and places and the author painted a mural with words that I could visualize in my mind. Still have not made up my mind “who done it”.


5 Stars

Excellent

By Mary Cultrera

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, could not put it down without thinking about. Especially interesting as it was based on real life events, supposedly. Excellent entertainment, recommend.


5 Stars

Fascinating story.

By Melinda Young

The gritty truths about her family history makes me wonder about the real stories in my family. I admire Hattie’s strength. I wished they had included what happened to Hattie’s siblings.


5 Stars

This is a great novel. It keeps your interest throughout the book …

By Ray Stallsmith

This is a great novel. It keeps your interest throughout the book and makes you feel as if you are participating in the trial and living in the small towns. I would definitely read more of this author’s work.


5 Stars

Enthralling!

By Kevin Kleber

I started reading this last night, intending to read a chapter before bed. 4 hours later (with only 3 hours before I had to get up) I finished it. I picked it up on a recommendation, and I loved it. Can’t wait for this author’s next book!


 

5 Stars

Superlative Storytelling: a novel with staying power

By Kathleen M. Rodgers “Author of THE FINAL SALUTE and JOHNNIE COME LATELY”

A week after finishing Jodie Cain Smith’s novel, The Woods at Barlow Bend, I can’t stop thinking about her characters and the mystery that surrounds the death of the beautiful and lively Addie Andrews, supposedly from a freak hunting accident.

As I sit at the breakfast table drinking my coffee, my mind travels back to rural Alabama on the morning of January 31,1934. The dashing Hubbard Andrews carries his young wife’s body two miles through the woods at Barlow Bend. As he trudges along, trying to decide what to do next, he contemplates how he will tell his four children about their mother’s death. Even as he places Addie’s lifeless body on the backseat of her beloved 1930 Model T Ford ragtop, I’m already one step ahead of him, dreading that moment when his thirteen-year-old daughter Hattie, the oldest of the four kids, realizes the feisty and loving woman she looks up to, the woman who “shined in the center of our lives like the sun” is never coming home.

With the exception of the opening passages, written in third person and seen through Hubbard’s viewpoint, the rest of the story is narrated by young Hattie Andrews, a reliable protagonist I fell in love with the moment her voice took over the tale. Unlike her daddy, a weak and shiftless man headed on a downward spiral, Hattie has gumption, a term we don’t hear much these days. And because of that gumption, I rooted for her as she kept the family together, even after her daddy was accused of murder. Even though Addie is dead before the tale begins, she comes alive in the heart and mind of the reader as we see her through Hattie’s eyes.

In one of my favorite passages, which I highlighted to read over and over again, Hattie reflects on her momma:

“Sometimes, she needed to remind herself that adventures could be found right around any corner. ‘You just have to make the turn,’ she would say to me as we rode with the ragtop down…”

When you open up this novel, you will forget it’s 2015 Stars and that you have a life outside of the story. You will forget that you’re reading from an electronic device or an old-fashioned paperback. Whether you’re in a skyscraper, a mountain cabin, or on a crowded bus or airliner, your mind will drift back in time to a place you’ve probably never been. But in a matter of seconds, after reading the author’s opening lines, the Alabama setting will be so familiar, you’ll wonder why you ever left.

How can that be, you say?

Because Jodie Cain Smith is such a skilled storyteller, her teenage narrator, Hattie, will wrap around your heart and settle in to stay.

Kathleen M Rodgers, author of the new novel, Johnnie Come Lately


5 Stars

Very good

By Florida

I loved it

was so sad and awesome at the same time. Best book in the world!!!!so super awesome

Love it


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Robin Tyson

I would recommend this book


5 Stars

… with Hattie and was sometimes elated and at times sad. Easy

By Susan F. Knight

I really got involved with Hattie and was sometimes elated and at times sad. Easy, enjoyable read that needs to teach use to all sit down and ask about our parents and grandparents lives. Wish I still had the chance. Definitely worth your time.


5 Stars

Compelling!

By Mckendree Long

What a start. Hard to believe this is a debut novel. Jodie Cain Smith hooks you and reels you in. We will see more from this lady, and I can’t wait.


5 Stars

Spirited, Strong Character Story

By Kindle Customer

Great read! Really enjoyed this book. So many different characters and personalities. Lots of ups and downs…just like any of our lives if we are truly living. Highly recommended.


5 Stars

Exciting!

By Christy

I did not want to put this book down. If you love history, romance, mystery and suspense; this is a must read. Jodie Cain Smith pulls you right into the story and makes you feel as though you are experiencing life with Hattie. Mrs. Smith’s story also encourages me to sit down and talk with my own grandmother.


5 Stars

A real page-turner

By Peter L.

Compelling characters, beautiful language, an engaging read! Highly recommended.


5 Stars

A true lesson in the power of courage and perseverance

By Wonder Woman

Cain-Smith is a passionate writer whose descriptive and captivating style grabs your attention and keeps you focused from page one to the end. You feel the fear, the courage, the grief, and the joy of a girl and a woman, a daughter and a wife in the character of Hattie. She is certainly a woman to be admired and Cain-Smith does her proud. A must read for mystery lovers as well as history lovers.


5 Stars

Fantastic debut novel hints at what’s to come for this author

By Kathryn Danielle Whitener

What a debut novel! Jodie Cain Smith proves she can deliver characters the reader will care about, empathize with, and root for. Hattie’s story is worth being told and Jodie does right by her grandmother with this novel. She could have ended the story with the trial, but by continuing through Hattie’s family’s recovery and Hattie’s own independence, Jodie shows us the consequences of putting your faith in the wrong people. The complexity delivered here hints at Jodie’s potential. I can’t wait for the next novel from this talented writer.


5 Stars

Intriguing – ghosts of the past, betrayal, and a young girl trying to find herself – you couldn’t ask for more

By Candace

Cain Smith has an amazing way of setting a scene and placing you directly in the character’s shoes. Immediately, you are intrigued by this family. Bravo to Cain Smith. You had me at page 1. Definitely looking forward to more from this gifted author!


5 Stars

Amazing read!

By Patricia Karwoski

This author writes so that you feel like you are looking through the eyes of Hattie, as she grows up through tragedy, resilience, and strength. The story is all the more incredible, since it is written about her grandmother. The author’s passion and attention to detail, is woven throughout the book and made it incredibly interesting to read. I especially liked the photos that appear once the trial has ended. Don’t look ahead-wait until you get there!


5 Stars

Loved this book

By DjayI

Loved this book! Had to force myself to put it down. The fact that it is based on a true family tragedy made it an even more interesting read. Still wondering if it was an accident.


5 Stars

If you love a good Southern read this is it

By Sheila Granger

Jodie Cain Smith has a winner with The Woods at Barlow Bend. If you love a good Southern read this is it. Enjoyed every page I read. Hope to hear more from this author.


5 Stars

Five Stars

By Amazon Customer

I recommend this book to all my friends. It is one you won’t put down. NC


5 Stars

Read this book!

By Christine Swadley


Couldn’t put this book down. It was a quick read that flowed well and was easy to follow. I kept wanting to find out what happened next to Hattie and her family. I imagine that Hattie’s telling of her tragic story to her granddaughter, the author, must have been a catharsis for these difficult memories. The story would be an excellent read even if it was complete fiction, but knowing it is based on a true story makes it all the more intriguing.


5 Stars

It’s amazing how much one person can go through and remain …

By Sarah Herlong

This was the most engrossing book I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely could not put it down. It’s amazing how much one person can go through and remain intact. I would be interested to know what happened to the other siblings, how they got out of their horrible situation. Maybe a follow up book?


5 Stars

Wonderful book!

By Nicole McDonough

I couldn’t put it down!! Wonderful book!!!


5 Stars

Intriguing, Well-Written, True-Life Mystery.

By Booklover

First of all, it was a pleasure to read a book that is so well-written. The fact that the novel is based on actual events was captivating from the start. Smith weaves magic, drawing us in to her grandmother’s world. We are left not knowing what actually happened at Barlow Bend because only Hubbard Andrews knew. Still we are satisfied with the story and are able to draw our own conclusions… The most heart-rending passage comes at the end when Hattie tells us what her mother gave her: “Momma taught me to live without fear. She taught me to choose my own path. She taught me to find my own adventures.” Good advice for us all. Wholly satisfying.


5 Stars

The author has a wonderful writing style – so easy to read and a …

By louis e. braswell

The author has a wonderful writing style – so easy to read and a great page turner!! Can’t wait for her next book!!


5 Stars

This is an interesting story very well told. The …

By weekendgolfpro

This is an interesting story very well told. The book is driven by the story, with enough description to help you “see” it unfold, but not so much as to wear you out.. Jodie Cain Smith has chosen a compelling story, and told it masterfully. I never wanted to put the book down.


5 Stars

love and suspense

By BCB

A Southern mystery full of drama, love and suspense. Pulling for Hattie from the beginning, you quickly recognize parts of her in yourself. Her strength, fortitude, and determination make it difficult to put the book down. Hattie’s well written journey leads your imagination to wonder what may have happened to the relatives of your past. Excited to see what’s next from Jodie Cain Smith.


5 Stars

Family Ties

By Ginny Padgett

Cain has crafted a work that transports the reader back to 1934 Alabama. The storyline was gripping and the characters were well drawn. The end of the book brought an emotional response as I relived my special bond with my own grandmother.


5 Stars

A MUST READ!!!!

By Teresa and Rick Prier

Amazing book! Jodie Cain Smith brought Hattie to life and into my home. I was drawn in from the moment I started reading. I’ll wait in anticipation for her next book.


5 Stars

Holds you in suspense until the very end!

By Jill C. Smith

The author did a wonderful job relating the story her grandmother shared from long ago. It must be very difficult for a family to suffer such a loss and harder still to recall the painful events. This book is one that catches your attention from the beginning and you find yourself unable to put it down. Hattie’s pain, sorrow and fears and finally the resolve of this true story holds you in suspense until the very end. A good read.


5 Stars

I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the …

By Christiane

A novel inspired by true events makes this story very intriguing. I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the book was over. I can’t wait to read what Jodie Cain Smith, a truly gifted writer creates next.


5 Stars

Great read!

By Brandon Barnhill

Factual fiction / fictional facts. All truth or just some; it doesn’t matter. This book is a great read that keeps you wanting more. They author does a fantastic job of recreating the rural south that my grandparents told me stories about. She also illuminates the drama that can come with small close communities and the dark secrets they sometimes hold. I look forward to more stories from this novelist in the future.


5 Stars

I love this book

By Amazon Customer

I love this book! Not only does it give you a healthy dose of small town southern drama, it gives you a lead character to root for who is strong and ahead of her time. It is an easy book to lose yourself in…pick it up on Saturday afternoon and before you know it, it’ll be Sunday. It is an emotional journey (that is definitely worth taking) that will have you craving fried chicken and more books from Jodie Cain Smith!


5 Stars

Fantastic!

By Jay Smith

A book for everyone! It provides historical context of a turbulent time in the Deep South. Will touch true crime lovers, mystery fans, and is one of the most inspirational books I have read in a long time. Extremely will written and a true page turner!


5 Stars

Intriguing Southern Family Drama!

By Kimberly Frank

Loved it! A young girl overcomes her mother’s death and her father’s murder trial–and it’s mostly true! I love historical fiction and Southern family drama. The setting is so familiar–Harper Lee’s backyard–and Hattie is real, gutsy, and endearing. I can’t wait to see what Jodie Cain Smith writes next!


5 Stars

Still not sure what happened but am fully satisfied with the outcome

By Beth on November 19, 2014

Could not put it down. Read cover to cover in one day. Only stopped to eat. Still not sure what happened but am fully satisfied with the outcome. Look forward to her next book to see if she can continue to please.


 

Five Stars
By L. Nierman
Amazing book! Not since The Secret Life of Bees and The Help have I not been able to put a book down. A must read…


 

By Kathleen M. Rodgers “Author of THE FINAL SALUTE and JOHNNIE COME LATELY

A week after finishing Jodie Cain Smith’s novel, The Woods at Barlow Bend, I can’t stop thinking about her characters and the mystery that surrounds the death of the beautiful and lively Addie Andrews, supposedly from a freak hunting accident.

As I sit at the breakfast table drinking my coffee, my mind travels back to rural Alabama on the morning of January 31, 1934. The dashing Hubbard Andrews carries his young wife’s body two miles through the woods at Barlow Bend. As he trudges along, trying to decide what to do next, he contemplates how he will tell his four children about their mother’s death. Even as he places Addie’s lifeless body on the backseat of her beloved 1930 Model T Ford ragtop, I’m already one step ahead of him, dreading that moment when his thirteen-year-old daughter Hattie, the oldest of the four kids, realizes the feisty and loving woman she looks up to, the woman who “shined in the center of our lives like the sun” is never coming home.

With the exception of the opening passages, written in third person and seen through Hubbard’s viewpoint, the rest of the story is narrated by young Hattie Andrews, a reliable protagonist I fell in love with the moment her voice took over the tale. Unlike her daddy, a weak and shiftless man headed on a downward spiral, Hattie has gumption, a term we don’t hear much these days. And because of that gumption, I rooted for her as she kept the family together, even after her daddy was accused of murder. Even though Addie is dead before the tale begins, she comes alive in the heart and mind of the reader as we see her through Hattie’s eyes.

In one of my favorite passages, which I highlighted to read over and over again, Hattie reflects on her momma:

“Sometimes, she needed to remind herself that adventures could be found right around any corner. ‘You just have to make the turn,’ she would say to me as we rode with the ragtop down…”

When you open up this novel, you will forget it’s 2015 and that you have a life outside of the story. You will forget that you’re reading from an electronic device or an old-fashioned paperback. Whether you’re in a skyscraper, a mountain cabin, or on a crowded bus or airliner, your mind will drift back in time to a place you’ve probably never been. But in a matter of seconds, after reading the author’s opening lines, the Alabama setting will be so familiar, you’ll wonder why you ever left.

How can that be, you say?

Because Jodie Cain Smith is such a skilled storyteller, her teenage narrator, Hattie, will wrap around your heart and settle in to stay.

Kathleen M Rodgers, author of the new novel, Johnnie Come Lately


I will read anything Jodie Cain Smith writes. Fabulous book. Hattie is one tough cookie with a lot of responsibility. Well done.

  • J Loiacono, literary agent

This is an interesting story very well told. The …

By weekendgolfpro

This is an interesting story very well told. The book is driven by the story, with enough description to help you “see” it unfold, but not so much as to wear you out.. Jodie Cain Smith has chosen a compelling story, and told it masterfully. I never wanted to put the book down.


I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the …

By Christiane

A novel inspired by true events makes this story very intriguing. I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the book was over. I can’t wait to read what Jodie Cain Smith, a truly gifted writer creates next.


Intriguing, Well-Written, True-Life Mystery.

By Booklover

First of all, it was a pleasure to read a book that is so well-written. The fact that the novel is based on actual events was captivating from the start. Smith weaves magic, drawing us in to her grandmother’s world. We are left not knowing what actually happened at Barlow Bend because only Hubbard Andrews knew. Still we are satisfied with the story and are able to draw our own conclusions… The most heart-rending passage comes at the end when Hattie tells us what her mother gave her: “Momma taught me to live without fear. She taught me to choose my own path. She taught me to find my own adventures.” Good advice for us all. Wholly satisfying.


Amazing read!

By Patricia Karwoski

This author writes so that you feel like you are looking through the eyes of Hattie, as she grows up through tragedy, resilience, and strength. The story is all the more incredible, since it is written about her grandmother. The author’s passion and attention to detail, is woven throughout the book and made it incredibly interesting to read. I especially liked the photos that appear once the trial has ended. Don’t look ahead-wait until you get there!


Holds you in suspense until the very end!

By Jill C. Smith

The author did a wonderful job relating the story her grandmother shared from long ago. It must be very difficult for a family to suffer such a loss and harder still to recall the painful events. This book is one that catches your attention from the beginning and you find yourself unable to put it down. Hattie’s pain, sorrow and fears and finally the resolve of this true story holds you in suspense until the very end. A good read.


I love this book

By KCR

I love this book! Not only does it give you a healthy dose of small town southern drama, it gives you a lead character to root for who is strong and ahead of her time. It is an easy book to lose yourself in…pick it up on Saturday afternoon and before you know it, it’ll be Sunday. It is an emotional journey (that is definitely worth taking) that will have you craving fried chicken and more books from Jodie Cain Smith!


love and suspense

By BCB

A Southern mystery full of drama, love and suspense. Pulling for Hattie from the beginning, you quickly recognize parts of her in yourself. Her strength, fortitude, and determination make it difficult to put the book down. Hattie’s well written journey leads your imagination to wonder what may have happened to the relatives of your past. Excited to see what’s next from Jodie Cain Smith.


Intriguing Southern Family Drama!

By Kimberly Frank

Loved it! A young girl overcomes her mother’s death and her father’s murder trial–and it’s mostly true! I love historical fiction and Southern family drama. The setting is so familiar–Harper Lee’s backyard–and Hattie is real, gutsy, and endearing. I can’t wait to see what Jodie Cain Smith writes next!

Most helpful positive review


5This is an interesting story very well told. The …

By weekend golf pro

This is an interesting story very well told. The book is driven by the story, with enough description to help you “see” it unfold, but not so much as to wear you out.. Jodie Cain Smith has chosen a compelling story, and told it masterfully. I never wanted to put the book down.


3Three Stars

By Toni Amper

Interesting story, a fast read.

5This is an interesting story very well told.

5I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the …


By Christiane

A novel inspired by true events makes this story very intriguing. I immediately fell in love with the main character and missed her when the book was over. I can’t wait to read what Jodie Cain Smith, a truly gifted writer creates next.


5Intriguing, Well-Written, True-Life Mystery.

By Booklover

First of all, it was a pleasure to read a book that is so well-written. The fact that the novel is based on actual events was captivating from the start. Smith weaves magic, drawing us in to her grandmother’s world. We are left not knowing what actually happened at Barlow Bend because only Hubbard Andrews knew. Still we are satisfied with the story and are able to draw our own conclusions… The most heart-rending passage comes at the end when Hattie tells us what her mother gave her: “Momma taught me to live without fear. She taught me to choose my own path. She taught me to find my own adventures.” Good advice for us all. Wholly satisfying.

5Amazing read!


By Patricia Karwoski

This author writes so that you feel like you are looking through the eyes of Hattie, as she grows up through tragedy, resilience, and strength. The story is all the more incredible, since it is written about her grandmother. The author’s passion and attention to detail, is woven throughout the book and made it incredibly interesting to read. I especially liked the photos that appear once the trial has ended. Don’t look ahead-wait until you get there!

5Holds you in suspense until the very end!


By Jill C. Smith

The author did a wonderful job relating the story her grandmother shared from long ago. It must be very difficult for a family to suffer such a loss and harder still to recall the painful events. This book is one that catches your attention from the beginning and you find yourself unable to put it down. Hattie’s pain, sorrow and fears and finally the resolve of this true story holds you in suspense until the very end. A good read.


5I love this book

By KCR

I love this book! Not only does it give you a healthy dose of small town southern drama, it gives you a lead character to root for who is strong and ahead of her time. It is an easy book to lose yourself in…pick it up on Saturday afternoon and before you know it, it’ll be Sunday. It is an emotional journey (that is definitely worth taking) that will have you craving fried chicken and more books from Jodie Cain Smith!


5love and suspense

By BCB

A Southern mystery full of drama, love and suspense. Pulling for Hattie from the beginning, you quickly recognize parts of her in yourself. Her strength, fortitude, and determination make it difficult to put the book down. Hattie’s well written journey leads your imagination to wonder what may have happened to the relatives of your past. Excited to see what’s next from Jodie Cain Smith.


5Intriguing Southern Family Drama!

By Kimberly Frank

Loved it! A young girl overcomes her mother’s death and her father’s murder trial–and it’s mostly true! I love historical fiction and Southern family drama. The setting is so familiar–Harper Lee’s backyard–and Hattie is real, gutsy, and endearing. I can’t wait to see what Jodie Cain Smith writes next!


5Fantastic!

By Jay Smith

A book for everyone! It provides historical context of a turbulent time in the Deep South. Will touch true crime lovers, mystery fans, and is one of the most inspirational books I have read in a long time. Extremely will written and a true page turner!


By Beth

Could not put it down. Read cover to cover in one day. Only stopped to eat. Still not sure what happened but am fully satisfied with the outcome. Look forward to her next book to see if she can continue to please.


5Fantastic debut novel hints at what’s to come for this author

By Kathryn Danielle Whitener

What a debut novel! Jodie Cain Smith proves she can deliver characters the reader will care about, empathize with, and root for. Hattie’s story is worth being told and Jodie does right by her grandmother with this novel. She could have ended the story with the trial, but by continuing through Hattie’s family’s recovery and Hattie’s own independence, Jodie shows us the consequences of putting your faith in the wrong people. The complexity delivered here hints at Jodie’s potential. I can’t wait for the next novel from this talented writer.


5Five Stars

By Amazon Customer

I recommend this book to all my friends. It is one you won’t put down. NC


5Read this book!

By Christine Swadley

Couldn’t put this book down. It was a quick read that flowed well and was easy to follow. I kept wanting to find out what happened next to Hattie and her family. I imagine that Hattie’s telling of her tragic story to her granddaughter, the author, must have been a catharsis for these difficult memories. The story would be an excellent read even if it was complete fiction, but knowing it is based on a true story makes it all the more intriguing.


5Great read!

By Brandon Barnhill

Factual fiction / fictional facts. All truth or just some; it doesn’t matter. This book is a great read that keeps you wanting more. They author does a fantastic job of recreating the rural south that my grandparents told me stories about. She also illuminates the drama that can come with small close communities and the dark secrets they sometimes hold. I look forward to more stories from this novelist in the future.


5It’s amazing how much one person can go through and remain …

By Sarah Herlong

This was the most engrossing book I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely could not put it down. It’s amazing how much one person can go through and remain intact. I would be interested to know what happened to the other siblings, how they got out of their horrible situation. Maybe a follow up book?


4Smith evocatively conveys her obvious love for the place and people of her Southern home …

By Emily Deck Harrill

I found this book to be a compelling story of the beauty and tragedy of families and relationships. Smith evocatively conveys her obvious love for the place and people of her Southern home and heritage with a well-written and lively story that moves quickly. Kudos for a great first novel!


5Wonderful book!

By Nicole McDonough

I couldn’t put it down!! Wonderful book!!!


5Intriguing – ghosts of the past, betrayal, and a young girl trying to find herself – you couldn’t ask for more

By Candace

Cain Smith has an amazing way of setting a scene and placing you directly in the character’s shoes. Immediately, you are intrigued by this family. Bravo to Cain Smith. You had me at page 1. Definitely looking forward to more from this gifted author!


5Family Ties

By Ginny Padgett

Cain has crafted a work that transports the reader back to 1934 Alabama. The storyline was gripping and the characters were well drawn. The end of the book brought an emotional response as I relived my special bond with my own grandmother.


5Loved this book

By DjayI

Loved this book! Had to force myself to put it down. The fact that it is based on a true family tragedy made it an even more interesting read. Still wondering if it was an accident.


5If you love a good Southern read this is it

By Sheila Granger

Jodie Cain Smith has a winner with The Woods at Barlow Bend. If you love a good Southern read this is it. Enjoyed every page I read. Hope to hear more from this author.


5A MUST READ!!!!

By Teresa and Rick Prier

Amazing book! Jodie Cain Smith brought Hattie to life and into my home. I was drawn in from the moment I started reading. I’ll wait in anticipation for her next book.


5The author has a wonderful writing style – so easy to read and a …

By louis e. braswell

The author has a wonderful writing style – so easy to read and a great page turner!! Can’t wait for her next book!!

***

5A true lesson in the power of courage and perseverance

By WonderWoman

Cain-Smith is a passionate writer whose descriptive and captivating style grabs your attention and keeps you focused from page one to the end. You feel the fear, the courage, the grief, and the joy of a girl and a woman, a daughter and a wife in the character of Hattie. She is certainly a woman to be admired and Cain-Smith does her proud. A must read for mystery lovers as well as history lovers.


5Exciting!

By Christy

I did not want to put this book down. If you love history, romance, mystery and suspense; this is a must read. Jodie Cain Smith pulls you right into the story and makes you feel as though you are experiencing life with Hattie. Mrs. Smith’s story also encourages me to sit down and talk with my own grandmother.

5Superlative Storytelling: a novel with staying power

5… with Hattie and was sometimes elated and at times sad. Easy


By Susan F. Knight

I really got involved with Hattie and was sometimes elated and at times sad. Easy,enjoyable read that needs to teach use to all sit down and ask about our parents and grandparents lives. Wish I still had the chance. Definitely worth your time.


4Murder, Infidelity, Intrigue… You know… A typical family story.

By Michele Feltman Strider “I’m a writer. You can tell by the drinking.”

“This would make a great book.” It’s a common thought after hearing a bit of family history, but few of us take the trouble. Kudos to Ms. Smith for sharing her well-researched family saga.


5Spirited, Strong Character Story

By Avid Kentucky Lakes Reader~~

Great read! Really enjoyed this book. So many different characters and personalities. Lots of ups and downs…just like any of our lives if we are truly living. Highly recommended.


5Compelling!

By Mckendree Long

What a start. Hard to believe this is a debut novel. Jodie Cain Smith hooks you and reels you in. We will see more from this lady, and I can’t wait.


5A real page turner

By Peter L .

Compelling characters, beautiful language, an engaging read! Highly recommended.


5Enthralling!

By Kevin Kleber

I started reading this last night, intending to read a chapter before bed. 4 hours later (with only 3 hours before I had to get up) I finished it. I picked it up on a recommendation, and I loved it. Can’t wait for this authors next book!


5Five Stars

By Robin Tyson

I would recommend this book

5This is a great novel. It keeps your interest throughout the book …

By Ray Stallsmith

This is a great novel. It keeps your interest throughout the book and makes you feel as if you are participating in the trial and living in the small towns. I would definitely read more of this author’s work.


4Four Stars

By Jennifer Burgess

Good read! Told with an authenticity and emotion that is palpable. Excellent start…hope to see more from Mrs. Smith.

5Very good


By Florida

I loved it
was so sad and awesome at the same time. Best book in the world!!!!so super awesome
Love it