Love in a Dry Season
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Love in a Dry Season

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Shelby Foote's magnificently orchestrated novel anticipates much of the subject matter of his monumental Civil War trilogy, rendering the clash between North and South with a violence all the more shocking for its intimacy. Love in a Dry Season describes an erotic and economic triangle, in which two wealthy and fantastically unhappy Mississippi families—the Barcrofts and t...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 2nd 1992 by Vintage (first published 1951)
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I read this book under duress: it was the monthly selection for my local book club and I did not look forward to the experience. The back of the novel compares Shelby Foote to William Faulkner, which immediately inspired within me the following thought: "Oh, crap." For I hates me some Faulkner. However, I've come to realize that, more often than not, a novel being described as "Faulknerian" is really just shorthand for the following: Southern; quirky, dark characters with unhealthy libertine app...more
I first became acquainted with Shelby Foote while watching Ken Burns' brilliant series on The Civil War. I was struck by his innate story-telling voice and felt I could have sat at his feet and listened to him all day.
I discovered, in addition to penning a collection on The Civil War, he'd delved into fiction as well. I wondered if that "voice" carried over to the written page.
I needn't have worried.

His is not prose that will suck you in and carry you along for the ride ... it is descriptive (wi...more
Dave Reidy
Known primarily for his history of the Civil War, Shelby Foote was also a very fine novelist. This book was a revelation for me, both of Foote's talents as a fiction writer and of a South I'd not encountered in anyone else's books.
Joyce Lagow
It� s been said that in reality there are only six distinct plots in fiction. If so, then Shelby Foote takes one of them� the classic love triangle� and makes it his own.[return][return]As in other novels set in contemporary times, the story takes place in the fictional town of Bristol, Mississippi, in the equally fictional Jordan County. Amanda Barcroft, virgin daughter of the supposedly fabulously wealthy Major Barcroft, has spent her life caring for her father and sister. A � catch� , but the...more
I loved this book with its strange group of characters. The heat and humidity of the south made it that much more intoxicating. One of my favorite southern novels!
Kitsana Dounglomchan
This was the first novel of S. Foote's I had ever read, and I enjoyed it. Foote gave an interview in the Paris Review back in 1999; I highly recommend it if you're a fan of his work. In this interview, Foote says it's important to build the characters first and then put them into a harrowing situation. I'm paraphrasing him, but he said something to this effect.

You see this come alive while reading this book. The level of detail that he goes into with Maj Bancroft, Amanda, Florence, Jeff, Amy, a...more
Definitely engrossing, in the way that eccentric, wealthy, and largely unlikeable characters tend to be. The narration is suitably caustic, though a real affection for the Deep South is readily apparent.
It is a short work at 250 pages, but Shelby Foote's "Love in a Dry Season" (1951) sometimes seems as if it doesn't have enough meat to its plot.

Coming a year after his excellent "Follow Me Down," too, doesn't help the novel. Still, there is enough of Foote's fine writing to recommend "Love" even with its comparatively dialed-down passions.

In "Love in a Dry Season," set in the 1920s to the 1940s, Northerner Harley Drew, visiting Mississippi on business, then sees a personal business opportunity (...more
Elizabeth K.
Oh, this was lovely. Southern drama, infidelity, revenge and family strife, what more do you need in a book? The plot is fairly straightforward -- a stranger arrives in the Mississippi Delta (not the delta of the Mississippi River), from the North, obviously, because where else would upheaval come from? and tangles in turn with a sheltered old maid and a wealthy, restless young married.

Grade: A
Recommended: Must-read for those captivated by Southern Gothic. It's also a bit on the mild side of the...more
Raining Roses
A story told as only a Southerner could tell it. I am from the Mississippi Delta, and I delighted in his details--like whining balls. The dialogue has all the majesty and melodrama of the Delta. As for a review of the prose, I agree with Faulkner's assessment of Foote: he'd be a good a writer if he'd just stop trying to be Faulkner. Yet, Foote does manage moments of brilliance when he, too, reveals the old verities, and in moments, he does approach the truth of Faulkner.
First chapter didn't grab me, then it started to unfold. When I finished, I was struck by the characters' relationship to time. The daughters trapped to wait their lives out with their stern father, the suitor waiting for the day when a father would pass, the father waiting to die to prove to his daughter he was right. Even in their love affairs, they were not living in the moment, but for that far off day when they would have arrived.
Great storytelling by Shelby Foote. Many writers have in their novels explored the similar theme of money,sex, greed and misery, but not everyone could tell the story with such style and sense of humor. Most of the characters in the book are pretty unlikeable, but I find myself admiring them nonetheless for their incredible determination, ruthlessness, selfishness and most of all their resilience.
Masterful story telling that transports the reader to the South. The characters are disdainful and provoke pity at once for their complete lack of empathy and insight, so caught up are they in their own motives. The strategic irony which sums up the ending is brilliant.
The audio file was corrupt so that I couldn't listen to the end of the story. The tone of this story is languid and sad. The characters are deep, interesting creatures of their time and environment. I will definitely need to finish this one sometime.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way Shelby Foote wrote and the story held my attention. I would have liked more closure at the end but overall I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
I did not like this book. I like stories that slowly unfold and leave you guessing what happened to the characters before you arrived. Sadly this book was all expositions and descriptions.
Sean Chick
Foote is a skilled writer and great at character development. However, the plot is not very interesting and the characters show no redeeming qualities. A missed opportunity.
Mar 23, 2013 Jo rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
It's full of quirky southern characters trying to survive a dismal life. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them and the book is a little short on plot.
Mighty good story telling; kept me connected throughout.
Frederick Bingham
I could not get interested in this book.
Jessica marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
Gene marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
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Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American novelist and a noted historian of the American Civil War, writing a massive, three-volume history of the war entitled The Civil War: A Narrative. With geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta, Foote's life and writing paralleled the radical shift from the agrarian planter system of the Old South to the Civil Rights era of the New South. Foote wa...more
More about Shelby Foote...
The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville The Civil War: A Narrative The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian The Civil War, Vol. 3: Red River to Appomattox Shiloh

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