Read It! Nicole Says…Read These Books

By Nicole McManus

In this issue, we discover that wonderful moments create magical memories and 2018 has been a wonderful year for several of our South Carolina authors. Nathalie Dupree, Valerie Sayers, John Blake White, and Mary Alice Monroe were all inducted into the South Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. While Aida Rogers won a Silver IPPY Award, I think we can all agree that 2018 will be an incredible memory for this talented group.

Second Star to the Right, by Mary Alice Monroe

Faye O’Neill left her abusive husband and whisked her two children to London to begin a new career and a new life for them all. When she finds the perfect home, she is thrilled, but is not a fan of her new neighbors. Wendy is in her 90s and sits at her window talking about magic and paints portraits of children in a distant land. Jack is a professor who wants to know more about Wendy, and why she insists she is the famous Wendy from the Peter Pan tale. He is also intrigued by these new neighbors who don’t have much faith in anything, much less magic. Will this unlikely crew be able to come together to discover the truth and help heal broken hearts?

Second Star to the Right is one of the first books published by this author and it was recently re-released with a stunning new cover. Mary Alice Monroe is known for her beach reads that share with readers the importance of preserving nature. However, with this whimsical tale, the author shares the importance of believing! This unique spin on Peter Pan will remind readers what it is like to be a child and believe in the power of fairytales. Hope, love and family drive this story right into readers’ hearts.

I was a big fan of fairytales when I was younger. I read Peter Pan, I still own the cartoon movie, and I love the Robin Williams’ movie version, so I was excited to dive into Mary Alice Monroe’s version of this classic. To see a grown up Wendy, still believing, made my heart sing, while her relationship with her daughter made me cringe. I loved seeing the guest appearances from my favorite characters. I think as adults we all get overwhelmed by life’s events and even the monotony of daily life, i.e. bills, doctors, etc. To read a book like this gives us a chance to briefly escape the worries of adulthood and dive back into the endless wonder of childhood.



State of the Heart Vol. 3, Edited by Aida Rogers

From the opening quote by Pat Conroy, to the afterward by Cassandra King, this book bleeds South Carolina. Filled with poetry, anecdotes, and illustrations this book is a beautiful mosaic highlighting this state’s culture and scenery. From small town memories, to childhood homes, to life on the marsh or ocean, each area of South Carolina is represented. Some contributing authors include Kim Boykin, and Patti Callahan Henry. Photographs of the landscape and the people bring the times to life.

Volume Three is the final volume in this impressive collection of memories and tales that highlight the heart of South Carolina and the beauty of the majestic landscape. This volume introduced me to several writers that I had not heard of, while giving me a chance to see South Carolina through the eyes of some of my favorite authors. I hope those that attend the Moveable Feast on the 2nd will be treated to a delightful discussion about the inspiration behind this book. Whether you live in South Carolina, or visit here regularly, you will want to own this unique work.







Reviews by Nicole McManus

Nicole loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading.

Contact her at

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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