Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt
Review By Belle
I haven’t done a good job of describing this book to others over the last couple of weeks, but I’m going to try again because I want you to read it. The author, John Berendt, is intrigued by the US city of Savannah, so he goes to visit, falls in love with it, and spends more and more of his time there. This book is about the quirky people he meets in Savannah before and during a murder and trial which takes place in the community after he arrives. It’s non-fiction, but that doesn’t matter; the characters are more interesting and flawed and lovable and/or crazy than many made up ones, and their stories are real and funny and heart-warming and dramatic and unbelievable and tragic in the mixed up way that life in this world often is.
I was completely sucked in by Berendt’s brilliant storytelling, so much so that I realised, after raving about and then lending the book to my conservative father-in-law (who, I later found out, immediately stops reading books at the third incidence of the f-word), that most of the main characters aren’t the type you’d see regularly at church and may offend some readers before they’ve had a chance to find themselves liking them. I think this is one of the reasons this book is my favourite of the year so far.
Thanks once again, Belle! Go read Belle's Elbows.