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Recommended reads

A GOOD BOOK CAN BE ENLIGHTENING, ENTERTAINING AND THOUGHTPROVOKING, AND A BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR OR ONE THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE LOWCOUNTRY IS EVEN BETTER. HERE ARE TITLES WORTH READING.

BY HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

THE RISING, KERRY PERESTA

The Olivia Callahan series continues after Peresta, a Hilton Head resident, published “The Deadening” last year. “The Rising” finds Callahan having regained her speech, movement and most of the memory she lost after a traumatic brain injury.

She is ready to rebuild her life, but her therapist insists she must continue to look back in order to move forward. The only person who can help her recall specifics is her abusive ex-husband, Monty, who is in prison for murder. The thought of talking to Monty “makes her skin crawl,” but she needs to learn more about who she was before the attack.

And as the pieces of her life start falling into place, she stumbles across the still-warm body of an old friend who has been murdered, and she learns the killer left evidence behind to implicate her in the murder.

BELLS FOR ELI, SUSAN BECKHAM ZURENDA

In her debut novel, Zurenda, a Spartanburg resident, tells a “tender and engaging” coming-of-age story in which “fate takes with one hand and gives with the other.”

It is a world where family secrets must stay hidden. The novel explores the power of culture, family, friends, bullies, scars, lovers and two cousins — Adeline (Delia) Green and Ellison (Eli) Winfield — devoted to each other.

A shocking secret reveals truths about Eli that Delia never knew. The book earned first place for Best First Book—Fiction in the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

A SPECIAL PLACE AND TIME, JUDY HUTSON

The Lowcountry during the “Golden Age of America” is highlighted by Hutson, a longtime Bluffton resident. The book weaves family stories from early 20th century Palmetto Bluff to tell an engaging tale. Harvey “Fish” Beach was a young family man who was a gardener at the R.T. Wilson mansion. “Fish” and his family “reveled in the rugged beauty and adventures” of the area where people “often traveled by boat, and more than likely the roads were still dirt.”

“A Special Place and Time” offers a picture of Palmetto Bluff through those stories and vintage photos.

SEARCH FOR TREASURE, MARY ALICE MONROE AND ANGELA MAY

New York Times best-selling author and conservationist Mary Alice Monroe and coauthor Angela May offer a middle-grade adventure novel, a sequel to “The Islanders.”

In this charming story that adults will love as much as middle graders, 12-year-old Jake returns to his grandmother’s home on a remote South Carolina coastal island with his father, a wounded soldier dispirited after losing a leg in Afghanistan. Determined to cheer up his father and his Dewees Island summer friends, Lovie and Macon, Jake sets forth on an exciting new mission: “Operation Treasure Hunt.”

Jake and his friends learn that real treasure is about far more than what’s in a pirate’s chest. They discover the treasure of a rich father-son relationship, the support of community and true friendship.