Our own award-winning novelist

Sep 30, 2013

For a captivating look at Old Florida, I recommend a new novel “The River Way Home” by Mary Dawson of Palm City.  It won two gold medals from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association – one for best Florida fiction and one for Florida’s best young adult book.  Three young adventurers lose their boat on Lake Okeechobee and make their way through the wild Florida Jungle to the recently incorporated town of Stuart.  It’s 1914.  The railroad has come.  Soon Florida will be flooded with tourists and new residents.   Queenie is a bright black girl, Billy, blue-eyed and blond, yearns to be a cracker cowpoke, and Chief, a Seminole, sees his way of life disappearing.  They tangle with the Ashley gang, which really existed.  The book includes old photos and historical essays.  Author Mary Dawson, 69, has four offspring, is a lawyer, a photographer and an actress, worked for NASA and served as a Republican member of the Martin County Commission from 1988 to 1992.  Before that, she and other slow-growth advocates brought a coffin to a commission meeting to symbolize the death of Florida’s natural environment.  “The River Way Home” is aimed at young readers, but older readers will enjoy it, too.  I did.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.