Below, two more very generous advance comments on my forthcoming book. I can’t yet get into Alan’s remark about the “harder truths” in my book, simply because it won’t do to talk in detail about the book until it’s available. We’ll speak of these things come next April. I will say, though, that I appreciate Alan’s identifying this aspect of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. It’s a beautiful story, I think (at least it is if I’ve told it correctly), but it’s not a simple, sentimental story in which everything is wrapped up in a neat package.

I also appreciate very much my friend Sela Ward’s line, and the flattering comparison to Steel Magnolias. I worked with Sela on drafts of her own memoir of the South — she’s from Mississippi — and I know that she especially understands the story I’ve told in Little Way:

“People will tell you that The Little Way of Ruthie Leming is a tearjerker, and it is — boy, is it — but more than that it’s a thought-provoker. Rod Dreher tells a tale of dear things lost and dear things restored, but also, and unflinchingly, confronts some harder truths about old wounds that never fully heal and old misunderstandings that won’t quite go away. This is a book that strives for truth more than beauty — and is all the more beautiful for it.” — Alan Jacobs, professor of literature, Wheaton College, and author of “The Pleasures Of Reading In An Age Of Distraction” (Oxford University Press)

And:

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming’ is ‘Steel Magnolias’ for a new generation.” – Sela Ward, Emmy Award-winning actress and author of “Homesick,” a memoir about growing up in the South