Welcome to Muddy Fork, a town with every kind of folk you can imagine: Hard working farmers, preachers, crazy uncles, moonshine brewers, mail order brides, first time drivers, prophets, gold diggers, drunk deputies, trouble makers, young lovers and many, many happy families. Stanley Mcqueen has created an entire world filled with the charming, everyday lives of these down-to-earth hillbilly folks. He has more than 30 short stories for sale at Bookrix (and the external shops) and another few just for free. Each story is filled with wisdom, humor and, more often than not, good ol’ fashioned morals.
Today’s review is based on The New Harvest, one of my personal Muddy Fork favorites. The story begins with breakfast, in a hard working farmer’s kitchen. Pa and his son Tabby are getting ready to start their day. What I love about this is how genuine their conversation is; Pa speaks out of love, but also out of the desire to teach Tabby and raise him to be respectable. This is the kind of simple life city dwellers often dream about. As a writer (and an avid reader) I’ve always wanted to move out to the country, buy myself a nice log cabin, and live a quiet life with nothing but my typewriter (or laptop…) and a wall filled with paperbacks (or my eReader…). The greatest thing about Mcqueen’s writing is that it isn’t filled with crazy adventures, wild characters, or violence; it’s about the real, everyday events that truly matter in life.
After working hard in the tobacco fields, we get to visit the charming “courting” swing, strung up between two trees down by the river. This is where Tabby brings his special gal, Martha, the local shopkeeper’s daughter. They while the time away, enjoying the cool evening air and the uncomplicated conversations of young love. Never once do you think something bad is going to happen. For once, as a reader, you just get to sit back and let the story unfold. I felt safe and comfortable in Muddy Fork and by the end of the story, I didn’t want to leave. Lucky for me, The New Harvest is just one of many lovable folksy tales about Muddy Fork. You can also find a collection of these short stories, all together, in The Folks of Muddy Fork.
Before you get reading, have a listen to the theme song from “The Andy Griffith Show” – it will help set the mood.