Donna Everhart, American bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in bygone south.
Off Square Books store, 129 Courthouse Square Oxford, MS 38655, United States
Donna Everhart in front of the iconic Off Square Books store.
Donna Everhart is reading one of her novels to the public.
Broad Street Deli and Market Inc., 129 E Broad St, Dunn, NC 28334, United States
Donna Everhart had a great time at Broad Street Deli and Market Inc.
Donna Everhart at the signing event.
Donna Everhart was awarded the Outstanding Southeastern Author Award for her novel The Road to Bittersweet (Fiction).
(In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an ...)
In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an expert liar. Sometimes the lies are for her mama, Evie’s sake - to explain away a bruise brought on by her quick-as-lightning temper. And sometimes the lies are to spite Evie, who longs to leave her unhappy marriage in Perry County, Alabama, and return to her beloved New Hampshire. But for Dixie and her brother, Alabama is home, a place of pine-scented breezes and hot, languid afternoons. Though Dixie is learning that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, even her vivid imagination couldn’t concoct the events about to unfold. Dixie records everything in her diary - her parents’ fights, her father’s drinking, and his unexplained departure, and the arrival of Uncle Ray.
(For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, ...)
For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, life in the Appalachian Mountains is simple and satisfying, though not for the tenderhearted. While her older sister, Laci - a mute, musically gifted savant - is constantly watched over and protected, Wallis Ann is as practical and sturdy as her name. When the Tuckasegee River bursts its banks, forcing them to flee in the middle of the night, those qualities save her life. But though her family is eventually reunited, the tragedy opens Wallis Ann’s eyes to a world beyond the creek that’s borne their name for generations.
(Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy ...)
Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Their history is recorded in a leather-bound journal that belongs to Jessie Sasser’s daddy, but Jessie wants no part of it. As far as she’s concerned, moonshine caused her mother’s death a dozen years ago. Her father refuses to speak about her mama, or about the day she died. But Jessie has a gnawing hunger for the truth - one that compels her to seek comfort in food. Yet all her self-destructive behavior seems to do is feed what her school’s gruff but compassionate nurse describes as the “monster” inside Jessie.
(For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no pl...)
For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land - hoeing, planting, picking - but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin - until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop. Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water - an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school.
Donna Everhart has worked for various high tech companies, where she specialized in the fields of product introduction and project management. Upon joining the University, Donna Everhart majored in Business Management.
The year is 1968, and author Donna Everhart introduces the readers to Dixie Duprie. Despite the fact that she is only 11 years old, Dixie Duprie is already a professional liar. Many of the lies that Dixie normally tells are for her mother, who apparently has a short temper. Her mother’s short temper eventually results in violence. Dixie also tells the lies with the aim of making her mother angry. Evie, Dixie’s mother, is more than determined to leave her unsuccessful marriage. Evie looks forward to returning to her first home, in New Hampshire. Nonetheless, for Dixie and her younger brother, Alabama is their home, a place of languid afternoons and pine-scented breeze. Despite the fact that Dixie is coming to the realization, that the family that she had initially believed was perfect, it was full of fractures that were deeply hidden. Furthermore, Dixie’s imagination was not able to decipher the events that were to unfold later on.
Despite The Education of Dixie Duprie being a heavy story, it is still filled with hope, love, and kindness many at times from unexpected sources. Written in deceptively simple prose, The Education of Dixie-Duprie is a narrative that the readers are not going to forget anytime soon. A brilliantly written narrative, author Donna Everhart has covered a wide range of issues including rape, suicide, physical abuse, and depression.
Through the protagonist’s voice, the readers get a clear portrait of all the significant characters in The Education of Dixie-Duprie. Some of the most important characters include Uncle Ray, her unsettling charismatic uncle and AJ her older brother. Nonetheless, the relationship between Dixie Duprie and her mother is more than fascinating. The arc of their relationship moves from hatred, to eventually finding common ground during the darkest times. Author, Donna Everhart has shown a strong talent for voice. Despite the fact that Dixie is only 11 years old, she is not only smart but also precocious, stubborn and a smart aleck at times. Unlike many young narrators who are precious, Dixie is the kind of child who will not think twice before throwing dirt on a person’s face. Nonetheless, Dixie-Duprie is not only vulnerable but also heartbreaking, thereby giving her character an astonishing amount of depth.
With that said, The Education of Dixie Duprie is not only clear, but it is also a vivid portrait of all the characters. The narrative itself is compelling and fast-paced. Nonetheless, the readers should be aware that there are numerous graphic depictions of sexual assault, thereby making the narrative a little bit difficult to read at times. Author Donna Everhart has penned the novel in a flowing and also deceptively simple prose, one that the readers are not going to forget easily anytime soon. The Education of Dixie-Duprie tackles various important issues and topics such as physical abuse, suicide, rape, depression and several others. Gimpel has tackled several key societal issues that many authors, would have simply avoided. Furthermore, considering many of the characters in the Education of Dixie-Duprie have gone through a lot, many of the characters are severely broken. The sad part is that many of the broken characters are very innocent.
Narrated through Dixie Duprie’s voice, there are enough charm and goodness to ensure that there is a balance in this highly emotional narrative.
The Road-to-Bittersweet is a narrative that revolves around the Stamper family. The protagonist in the Road-to-Bittersweet is Wallis Anna a fourteen-year-old girl who resides with her family in Stamper’s Creek. Ann together with Seph her younger brother, Lucia, her younger sister, and her parents are forced to run away from their home after a hurricane strike in their city. The hurricane brought with it torrential rains, which eventually resulted in the flooding of river Tuckasegee. While Anna’s family was running away, the waters all of a sudden swept their truck away. Anna’s family eventually managed to retreat towards the back of the truck. However, Ann Willis and three other members of the family are forced out of the truck when it hits something on the water.
It does not take long before Anne’s family reunites. The family gathers one once again at a place where their family house used to be. Despite the fact that that Anna’s family lost everything in flood, they still have one another. With few resources, Anna’s family commences their fight for survival. Nonetheless, tragedy strikes again for the second time. The family decides to abandon their home and then travel from one town to another and generate a few bucks through singing. As Anna’s family was on the brink of starvation, Anna meets with Clayton, a few meters from one of the campsites where they used to visit. Anna and Clayton eventually become friends, and for the first time, Clayton has her first shot at early love. Clayton eventually manages to get them a job where the family is allowed to be a part of a traveling circus.
With that said, The Road-to Bittersweet is a story about the various challenges that a family faces. All the characters in the Road to Bittersweet are all-round and realistic. Just like The Education of Dixie-Duprie, author Donna Everhart addresses key societal issues. Anna and Clayton are very likable characters, and the readers can easily relate to them. Due to the fact that Donna Everhart has only two novels under her name, she shows promise and readers should expect more from this highly entertaining and gifted author.
(For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, ...)2017
(For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no pl...)2019
(Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy ...)2019
(In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an ...)2016
"Beginning a story is still challenging because I truly don’t know the characters yet. It’s like being in a room full of strangers who don’t want to talk to you - sometimes for days or weeks on end. But the more time you spend with them, the more you begin to uncover the little nuances of how they might speak, how they might act, what they might think. One thing is certain though. I’ll always lean towards writing strong young women, or girls, who have a backbone, a little grit in their blood, and the strength of their own convictions. I like to put my characters through as much as is possible, while leaning towards positive, hopeful endings."
"Everyone knows, the older you are, the more you’ve lived, the more experiences you’ve had, and the more wisdom you’ve gained from all of that. Use it. Use every little snippet of your life as a tool in your writing, your emotions, your reactions to events, your feelings. No matter what’s happened to you, let it show in your writing. Write fearlessly. This has been my greatest tool when it comes to the stories I’ve written. I retrieve emotions from the things that gut-punched me, made me cry, laugh, or want to give up. I take all of it and figure out fresh ways to write how I felt. And last of all, in my opinion, the only downside to being older is wishing you’d done something. Don’t wish - do."
"I was a reader first and foremost, and a voracious one. I think the very first time I even thought about it for more than a fleeting second was when I was about eighteen or nineteen. I don’t know why it even started then. It was out of the blue, a remote idea, the possibility as fuzzy as a dream. I wrote a short story around that time and submitted it to one of those “scams.” One of the ones where they snag you for some money. That ended the interest for a time. I didn’t think about it again until I was about thirty, and again without any real clarity, just a fleeting thing. I honestly didn’t get serious about it until 2000, and even then it was touch and go - depending on what was going on with work, with life."
Donna is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
Donna stated that she is pretty diverse with her reading, but the books/authors she tends to lean towards are Southern Fiction writers like Wiley Cash, Ron Rash, and Lee Smith: "I want to read some of Padgett Powell’s work as well as Ann Hite. Outside of that genre, I’ve also read by Bryn Greenwood, Travis Mulhauser, Laird Hunt, and David Woodrell – and if I can whittle my TBR pile down to an acceptable level, I’ve recently discovered Sharyn McCrumb."
Donna lives in Dunn, North Carolina with her husband, and a tiny, heart-stealing Yorkshire terrier, named Mister.