Thursday, August 23, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton

Mourning Dove blog tour

Welcome to the blog tour & giveaway for Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


mourning dove Title: Mourning Dove  
Author: Claire Fullerton
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction  
Release Date: June 29, 2018  
Genre: Southern Fiction, Family Life  

"An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South." Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

 PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Haven’t you noticed the name of the game
around here is what everybody thinks?
You’re only as good as how others consider you.”
- Finley

I love a “different” type of book when it is done well, and Claire Fullerton has achieved exactly that in Mourning Dove. Fullerton’s fresh voice, sense of place, and exquisite writing make this story shine. Creative storytelling reads somewhat like a memoir as life events cause the now-grown Millie to reflect back over her childhood and growing up years, especially as they relate to her brother, Finley. This evocative and poignant story that explores the relationships within the dysfunctional Crossan family captured me from the very first page and never let go.

One normally thinks of people as main characters, but 1970s Memphis is the overarching character around which all else revolves. Mourning Dove is southern to the core, and Fullerton evokes the setting and mores like no one else I’ve ever read. Having lived in the south all my life, there is so much I can relate to. For instance, the southern accent that “operates at lightening speed, and doesn't feel the need for enunciation. Instead, it trips along the lines of implication." And this descriptive passage truly captures the essence of Memphis and southern upper echelons…

It was magnolia-lined and manicured, black-tailed and bow-tied. It glittered in illusory gold and tinkled in sing-song voices. It was cloistered, segregated, and well-appointed, the kind of place where everyone monogrammed their initials on everything from hand towels to silver because nothing mattered more than one’s family and to whom they were connected by lineage that traced through the fertile fields of the Mississippi Delta.

Through Millie’s eyes and voice, we see the close bond between Millie and Finley, a gifted musician with a high intellect – and how a self-absorbed mother and absent alcoholic father affected their lives. It was a time where appearance mattered above all else, with true feelings and emotions well hidden. Posey, the mom, is fascinating – not the most likeable of characters, yet with a vulnerability that touched me. I loved Millie’s expressive thoughts: “I never saw her admit to the complete gamut of emotions inherent in all of mankind, and I thought it was because not all of them played well on her stage. I often wondered if she even possessed unattractive emotions, or if they’d shriveled up and died from lack of use.”

I loved the depth, complexity and realism of Mourning Dove. It’s raw at times, and the unfolding theme of a hero worshipped revealing feet of clay is something to which we can all relate. The seeking of God in different ways, never a "one-size-fits-all" experience, plays an essential part.

Intrigued by the title, I looked up “mourning dove” and discovered how the meaning encompasses the essence of this story: “Their distinctivewooo-oo-oo-oo sounds may evoke a feeling of grief over the loss of a dearly beloved. But far from representing death, the symbolism of mourning doves gives optimism with its spirituality. Beyond their sorrowful song is a message of life, hope, renewal and peace.

Mourning Dove is a classic story that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended.


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Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of contemporary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite. 

Claire is the author of “A Portal in Time,” a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both of those novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. 

Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. She is one of four contributors to the book, A Southern Season, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.  

CONNECT WITH CLAIRE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Mourning Dove blog tour giveaway


Claire Fullerton is giving away:
  • 1 audiobook of Mourning Dove (US only)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 21, 2018 and last through 11:59pm August 28, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along with the tour at JustRead for a full list of stops!



  1. i love this review! Thanks, Carole! :)

  2. I am humbled and thrilled! You caught the essence of Mourning Dove, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  3. We have mourning doves on our yard and I enjoy hearing them each morning.

  4. This book looks great. I love the cover too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Carole. This one is headed to my wishlist.

  5. Sounds like an interesting book. Would really like to listen to on audio.

  6. The story sounds fascinating, and I'd love to read it. I moved to the South from the North and grew up in Richmond, VA. I noticed that various words were pronounced differently, children were expected to say "Yes/No, m'am" and "Yes/No, sir" to adults, and various other differences. In later years when I was a camp counselor in the summer, I had to translate for some of the counselors who were from different parts of the USA.