Raney by Clyde Edgerton


“Mrs. Moss, Mrs. Williams, and Mrs. Clements from our neighborhood are in the Golden Agers and I take them to their meeting the first Thursday morning of each month. They live close to our house and when they come over to visit, Charles’ll get up, go to the bedroom, sit and read. He’d rather read a book, written by somebody he don’t know, than to sit down and talk to a live human being who’s his neighbor.”

Ya’ll, I had a lot of fun with this one. I laughed out loud several times and was compelled to read aloud certain parts to my husband. Now normally, this is something he endures because he loves me, but in this case he was laughing too.

Raney and Charles are newlyweds. She, a Free Will Baptist from the small town of Bethel and he, an Episcopalian from Atlanta. She has loads of what is considered common sense in her corner of the world and he is more “enlightened” and sophisticated. She is beautiful and kind and simple and he is intelligent, progressive and not the friendliest thing in the world. But together they make beautiful music literally, and eventually figuratively. This story is sooo funny and is a great picture of learning to listen to each other and the art of compromise.

Clyde Edgerton is a North Carolina writer who writes mainly about the south and Raney is his first novel, written in 1985. He wrote Raney while teaching English at Campbell University. (My Alma Mater). I missed Mr. Edgerton by a year when I arrived at Campbell. I may have heard some talk here or there about a one of the teachers being “excused” because of a novel he wrote, but that’s all pretty foggy for me. BUT one little google search or facebook conversation from a friend who is a fan of the book and you can become all kinds of informed on the happenings back in 1985. Now, I love my school and I’m quickly becoming a fan of Mr. Edgerton so I’ll just leave it at that if you’re interested in learning more.

Me and Clyde a couple of years ago. He played his banjo, signed books and was very entertaining.

Me and Clyde a couple of years ago. He played his banjo, signed books and was very entertaining.

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