Days of Little Texas by R.A. Nelson

Posted: August 18, 2009 in Book Reviews
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Days of Little Texas by R.A. Anderson

I picked up the ARC for Little Texas back in April at TLA. Since there are mountains of upcoming titles at the publisher’s booths, it’s hard to choose what to grab. I usually ask the vendors to recommend an ARC they feel a strong connection with; a book they really want to sell well.  A kind, young gal at the Knopf counter pressed Nelson’s new YA story into my hands.

It was the first ARC I read after the conference. I’m so glad. It’s a gem.

Days of Little Texas might seem a departure from Nelson’s previous books (Teach Me, Breath My Name). While his other novels are riveting, I find Nelson’s voice in Texas equally engaging; a thick patina of southern culture and history imbues the story with an uncommon richness.

We see life (and death) through the eyes of a teenage protagonist, Little Texas (otherwise known as Ronald Earl), a charismatic evangelical.  With help from Miss Wanda Joy and Sugar Tom, Little Texas preaches with a P.T. Barnum flair and a messianic fervor.  During a revival, he heals a young woman gripped by illness. Or does he? The book unravels the mystery of this pale waif. Along the way, Little Texas is swept up and entangled in a startling revelation. By the waters of Vanderloo Plantation, he discovers the truth about terrible secrets buried since the days of the civil war.

Days of Little Texas is also a deft study in contrasts; the darkness of secrets and sin is contrasted against the light of truth and courage, the buoyant power of love against the weight of cruelty, and the power of forgiveness against the manipulation of guilt.

Pick up a copy of Days of  Little Texas; you won’t regret it.

I recommend bingeing on Big Texas Peach Crumble while reading this book. Here’s my Recipe:

Big Texas Peach Crumble


Four cups peach pie filling (Canned will do in a pinch, but homemade is much, much better! Just ask your granny for her favorite method)


2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup real butter

Dash of salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dump peach pie filling into a buttered 9 inch pie plate. For topping; combine sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly (I use a pastry cutter to get the mixture as crumbly as the bridge at Vanderloo Plantation). Scatter crumble over peach filling.

Bake for about an hour. The crumble should develop a nice light brown crusty top (too little time in the oven, and the center is too soft.) Serve while still warm with half and half (my grandma’s favorite) or vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy your binge!

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great blog! You’re combining 2 of my favourite things – reading and baking! The book and recipe sound great. I’ll have to try them both 🙂 Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

  3. Sharon Metteauer says:

    Thanks Jenni!
    Now I have another book to read. I will have to try your recipe also!

  4. Debbie Kelsey says:

    The ghost used cheesecake cloth for a wrap.

  5. I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..


  6. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Bill, Thanks!

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