Sunday, February 8, 2015


This award-winning debut presents us with over two hundred and fifty years of love, loss, shame, secrets, sacrifice, joy, and biting humor in twenty-one beautifully crafted tales of young Delaney Robinson's family. Spanning Mary Kathleen's heroic struggles to save her husband and sons from Ireland's 19th century potato famine to young Delaney's own parents' lives in modern Alabama, the characters are vivid and extraordinarily familiar, resonating with readers long after the final page is turned.

DELANEY'S PEOPLE is an intricate story told through a unique, intimate medium in which each family member becomes as real as your own, narrating in his or her own voice. At the heart of this book lies the truth: each of us tell our version of history a little bit differently.

"Beth Duke has created a beautiful work of historical fiction about a family from the south and their journey through life. Told from the Irish Potato Famine through the Civil War and into the present; it is a beautiful concoction of stories that paint a picture of wonder and beauty; that inspires a search into the past like no other. I love Delaney and all of her people.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to see the beauty in everything and the blessing that is life. This collection of people each has their tale told from their own point of view as well as from those around them. I absolutely love this story and give it a 4 out of 4 stars. Not only because of the beautiful story and Beth’s characters but it is descriptive and resonates true to me as a reader. It is very well written and easy to follow along and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves family history, the south or heart felt stories about history. This is how history and family should be known; on a very personal level.

First you meet Delaney’s Great Grand-mamma; a wonderful woman who lives on her own and guides Delaney through some difficult times as well as just loving the sweet little girl. As you go back through each person’s story you see the intermingling of life at its fullest. It’s remarkable to just observe people; trying to understand them and see things from their point of view is difficult but worth it. This book has helped me look a little closer at those around me and has helped me try to better understand them. It has inspired me to collect family stories so that they aren't forgotten or turn to myth with little fact mingled in.

I found this book very inspiring and interesting. It suggests the possibility that our families are never what they seem as well as posing some moral questions. Is it okay to steal to feed your family; For example? One chapter is from the point of view of a battle sword hanging on the wall. If only objects could tell their story I think our histories would be significantly different things.

Overall I found this novel endearing, inspiring and encouraging. I am not the biggest people person but I am relearning the goodness of humanity. This book inspires me to look deeper and try to understand better. I think that people, generally, intend to do good and sometimes people misread their actions. Beth’s novel helps to bring light to a family that seems ordinary in every outward respect but are each very amazing in their own right. Beth Duke has created a beautiful work of historical fiction that is very well written and significant."

Beth Dial Duke was born in Anniston, Alabama and lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for many years. She is married to Jay and the proud mother of Jason and Savannah.

The author of several prize-winning short stories, her work has been featured in Pearl: A Literary Magazine, Longleaf Style magazine, and included in the British anthology The Possibility of Bears.

After a successful career in marketing, she is pursuing her first love: writing. Happily located in the scenic mountains of her home state, she lives with her family and eleven loyal chickens, two lovable dogs and a randomly affectionate cat.

As a copyrighted jewelry designer and former vintage jewelry dealer, she is uniquely qualified to pen her book's opener, Jewels. It was her first work of fiction in 2008 and won second place in a national competition. In addition to song parodies, pithy letters and sometimes scathing news commentary, she writes a somewhat regular blog about anything and everything at

She loves baking elaborate cupcakes, long walks to the nearby lake, sparkly things, great shoes, and will travel at the drop of a hat.

Her debut novel, "Delaney's People", was published in 2011 and has touched the hearts of thousands. The sequel, "Don't Shoot Your Mule", was introduced on November 23, 2012.