I was first drawn to Wanda Suttle Duncan’s memoir because of its title. “Cracker gothic” is a term I could apply to stories about my own ancestors in the Deep South. And Duncan paints a compelling portrait of her hometown in northern Florida, capturing the quirkiness, mystery and beauty of both its landscape and citizens with wit and compassion. But the book is also about finding a way forward after suffering a personal tragedy, the challenges and joys of caring for an aging parent, and how returning home after a long absence can help us discover who we are. Duncan’s vivid images and character descriptions immerse us in what seems an almost magical place where we relish each moment of the journey. Cracker Gothic is available here.