DOGWOOD ALLEY (book one)
While helping with the census, a young nurse, Doris, happens upon the Crawford family who live in an area of East Tennessee known as Dogwood Alley. When she discovers they’ve had a total of 25 children she is astonished and soon convinces, Bert, a charming newspaperman, to do a story on them. It isn’t long before all of their lives become forever intertwined. Through good times and bad they all rely on unwavering faith in God and the goodness of others to help weather every storm that comes their way. Even a Great Depression and a World War can’t shake their grit and determination.
If the Crick Don't Rise
The Crawford family and all of their friends must adjust to life after World War II. As everything starts to get back to normal some folks can’t seem to remember what normal actually means. Women in the workplace and wearing pants just doesn’t seem right to some, while others think it’s just the times changing…as always. Pastor Fred Crawford has his hands full trying to keep the peace in the family, the church and the whole town. Bert and Doris continue to raise their family but must deal with the aftermath of a life changing accident involving their daughter. Faced with the harshness of nature and the trials and tribulations of everyday life, they’ll all make it through…Lord willin’ and if the crick’ don’t rise.
ByDeborah Tukuaon July 18, 2017
What's not to love about this charming novel: the small town, and rural Tennessee setting, the 40s, the interesting, historical facts that were uncovered throughout the book, and the warmth and family values exhibited by the main characters. Review by Deborah Tukua, author of Naturally Sweet Blender Treats.
Joy In the Morning
With WWII and the Korean War now distant memories, life in America in 1955 seems idyllic. However, appearances can be deceiving as everyone finds they must choose a side in the fight for Civil Rights. The Crawford family and everyone else in East Tennessee are no exception. Fights, riots and shootings have the whole city on edge as Pastor Fred Crawford does his best to bring everyone together. Bert pitches in at the paper and prints his opinion pieces but to some he is a trader to his race. If that’s not bad enough, now there’s a hip shaking, white singer down in Memphis who sings black music. Things appear to be going from bad to worse, but though there may be tears in the night…there will be joy in the morning.
"I just finished reading the newest (third) in the Dogwood Alley series by Alyssa Helton: JOY IN THE MORNING, and enjoyed it so very much. The books can be read as a good standalone, but you will really get the goodie out of it if you read them in sequence. In JOY IN THE MORNING, we return to Knoxville, Solway, Clinton, Oak Ridge, and Karnes Highs School in 1955 where we'll again visit with the Crawford and Vincent families through 1958. Lots has changed since we first met them, including desegregation of schools, resulting in the dynamiting of Clinton High School. But we also see lots of good things happen in the two families when life goes on--as it has a way of doing. This installment opens with information about Fountain City Park! Anyone who enjoys a good, clean down-home Southern novel will enjoy the Dogwood Alley series, but those of us who hail from Knoxville will just love it! I just cannot recommend them enough." --GBS