Thanks for stopping by and checking out "Southern Shade."  Please feel free to leave your thoughts- good or bad! Simply click the word "comments." Scroll to bottom of page to post your review. We'd love to know your name & town, state or country.

UPDATE: November 6, 2012.
I think I need to say here that I invite anyone who reads my book to post their opinions. I will NOT delete negative reviews (as long as they aren't vulgar, of course). I simply have not had any, and, as crazy as it sounds, I would welcome a few. I'm afraid some people, who otherwise might buy the book, could doubt my credibility, since nothing pleases everyone! :)

One other thing, though this is not a Christian book, per se, there are elements of Christianity within, i.e. saying grace before meals, prayers at bedtime, an Easter Sunday trip, and a few other little things. Though there is no sermonizing, if those incidentals bother you, perhaps you should look elsewhere for your reading enjoyment.

 


Comments

Barbara Faulder
06/01/2009 14:48

Hi Mr. Burton,

Looks like I might be the first to comment. Just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed Southern Shade. The only thing I didn't care for was the ending. OH! Not HOW it ended, but THAT it ended! :)

Seriously, I don't know what else to say except it was splendid. A genuine treasure.

Will there be a sequel...please-please-please! :)
I wish you all the success you deserve on this masterful novel.
Barb

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Marie Woods
06/10/2009 22:33

I want to thank Ben F Burton for giving me this opportunity to be one of the first to read his first novel. I have to say it was very very good! And I am privileged to have done so. I loved the story line and the characters. Some of them reminded me so much of a few of my loved ones.

The story was a funny, witty, lovely story of a family that obviously loved and respected each other, looked out for each other, and took care of each other unconditionally. It was also sad in some parts and my tears flowed freely in reading of the tragedy of one of the childhood friend of the lead character. Just makes you think, there are no guarantees in life. And you need to take the opportunity to always, always let your loved ones know how you feel about them every day, cause you never know what the day will bring.

I think there should be a movie in the works with this one! It would be a great movie for the whole family!


Thank you Ben for inviting me to get to know this wonderful family. It was a pleasure!

Marie Woods

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Kimberly Kime
06/12/2009 11:12

I was given the wonderful opportunity to read Southern Shade and was very impressed.

I highly recommend Southern Shade to anyone who enjoys a story that showcases a Christian family's life, the South and memories of an era gone by. I laughed and cried as I pictured in my mind's eye every detail of the story, fully engrossed with Mr. Burton's unique and inspiring way of writing.

I hope there will be a sequel to this book as I want to learn more of the family's triumphs and anecdotes.

I believe that Mr. Ben Burton is destined to become one of America's treasured novelists.

Kimberly Kime
littleikepublishing@hotmail.com

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Ayn Yates
06/16/2009 21:50

I am so very proud I fought many interruptions to escape into the five month slice of life with the Beechworth family, truly the thrilling days of yesteryear!

If you happen to be Dannie Jeans age with an older sister,and four younger siblings in the mid fifties, as I was, you might have to search the old trunk for your 1955 diary, with suspicion that Ben had somehow found it, and changed the names to protect the guilty.

Ben has the fascinating ability to draw you hook line and sinker into the heart and soul of each character he introduces , transfering their emotions into your own.

After finishing the book, I had the opportunity to read it to my husband as we drove to our vacation. Since I had already read it, I was able to provide different voices for the individuals, which inhanced it for him. Since he would never be able to read it for himself, he thanked me, and ask if he had any more books we could buy! He was impressed!!
I absolutely will read it again, when I have a rainy day, that allows no interruptions. I love, love, love, it, and think Ben is an excellent writer, in both songs, and this novel.

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MR BURTON, YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED THE "JUICE" THAT DRIVES THE SOUTHERN WEHS SPIRIT. NOW THE WORLD KNOWS WHY WE DANCE. BEST OF LUCK AND GIVE MOM A KISS FOR ME.....SEE YA IN BHAM.

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Mary Nell Aldridge Rector
07/25/2009 09:07

Ben, I don't recall wishing that any other book would just never end, but I wanted Southern Shade to do just that - like the long-running, weekly TV episodes we watched as kids. Who said "you can't go home" -- your book abosuletly took me there - to people and places so familiar and a wonderful time in my life. Congratulations and continued success to you and all the best to your family.

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Louise Cox Avery
07/28/2009 06:59

Mr. Burton:

I enjoyed reading your book. I grew up in West End and attended West End High School. It was fun remembering some of those places we used to go when we were kids.

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Linda Cox Berdeaux
07/28/2009 07:27

Your book really took me back to West End; felt very nostalgic, sad and happy; helped me revisit some of my own memories. Beautifully written.

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BUTCHBOP
07/31/2009 07:41

JUST FINISHED THE BOOK FOR THE SECOND TIME AND LIKE GOOD MEMORIES AND WINE IT JUST GETS BETTER. SOMEONE ONCE SAID,"TO PUT LIFE ON PAPER MAKES IT MORE REAL", IT DID IT FOR ME BEN, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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Sue Sizemore
08/09/2009 21:50

Ben,
I read a lot... so, when I discovered that a former classmate from West End had written a book, I knew I had to read it. "Southern Shade" is a treasure chest of memories... each chapter reminding me how very special our childhood experiences were and how they helped shape who we are today. I laughed... I cried... and I want to thank you for letting me get to know this family. I usually will read a good book and pass it on, but "Southern Shade" has a special place on my bookshelf and in my heart.

Best wishes,
Sue (Sumner) Sizemore
WEHS Class of 1966

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Jody Smith
08/19/2009 05:44

Ben,
Words cannot describe how . . . in awe . . . I am of your God-Given talent . . .
I am so proud of you and for you . . . for this, your first (of hopefully many) novel. And though it is not necessarily of my generation nor my hometown, etc . . . your book transports me to a place I long to be. Joy and wisdom abounds in the pages.
Thank you for letting me be a part of it.
Hugs to you,
Jody Smith
Houston, TX

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Nancy Grogan
08/20/2009 16:39

Mr. Burton

I have finished your great book. What a wonderful book it is. Your wording, your feelings and your ability to catch such a wonderful time in the history of our country. I felt like I knew all of the characters, I could see them and the wonderful family life you experienced as a family growing up in our beautiful country. It is a must read for anyone who grew up during the prime (1950's) of our great land.
Great writing, get started on your next one, there should be many more to come!
Thanks for such a sincere and caring reading experience.

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Margaret Kesler
08/21/2009 08:02

Dear Ben:
Your book was very insightful to a wonderful by-gone area of innocence. I envy those days for my grandchildren who have no idea how safe it was for their grandparents to get on a street car and go to a Saturday all-day movie like the Alabama Theatre for Mickey Mouse Club, or to walk home from school safely, or know neighbors by name and respectfully acknowledge them with "yes sir, yes mam", walk to Hobbs Drug Store with a quarter weekly allowance and order a "cherry coke". How sweet it was!
I'm sure there is another book in you, maybe many more, and I shall look forward to reading them. West End High School lives on through its graduates who contribute. You have a gift, utilize it! That's why God gave it to you.
Thanks, again, for fond remembrances.
Margaret C. Kesler

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08/21/2009 09:14

This book is not Tolstoy's War and Peace. It is light hearted, just what I needed for relaxation to counterbalance my too-serious world of technical work.

You MUST read this book. It is all the adjectives I value: charming, light-hearted, wholesome, cheerful, playful, nostalgic.

It is exactly the kind of book to read while on a vacation or traveling, or just filling some spare time. Since I have little spare time, I had to fit it into a busy schedule, but each time I did, I hated to tear myself away from it. It reads quickly, though, so that helped my attention span while suffering through distractions of a business nature.

Any family member can read this book without fear of encountering R-rated language or innuendo. The world needs more Ozzie and Harriet.
Buy several copies of this book: one for yourself, a few for your kids, and some extras for grandma and mom and some for gifts. I'm sure they will thank you when you present them with it and after they read it. What else can I say? Get this book!

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Sandra Cook
08/27/2009 14:00

I just finished your book and it was delightful! My brother, sister and I attended Elyton and West End and those were indeed the good ol' days. What fun it was to wander around all over the neighborhood, walk to the Alabama for cartoons or the MM Club, and be "safe." Enjoyed getting to know your family and hope to hear more about them in the future!

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Kay Forrester Barnes
08/29/2009 19:39


Mr. Ben:
The older we become, the more important MEMORY becomes... I want to thank you for WAKING up some "PRECIOUS MEMORIES FROM MY PAST"! Since I grew up with only one sister, joining you and your family by reading SOUTHERN SHADE made me feel a part of your lives....and what life was like back in those wonderful carefree days of the 50's and 60's!

We enjoyed you sharing with our West End High Lunch Bunch a couple of months ago and hope you will come back soon with another BOOK! You certainly have a talent for making a person feel a part of your story....that is definitely a gift....May God continue to bless and USE you as you bring joy to others through your writings!

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Cyndee Brode
09/10/2009 06:00

Thank you for the total and complete enjoyment of the time it took to read the book. As I am with most books I truly enjoy, I didn’t want it to end. I finished Pat Conroy’s, “South of Broad” about Charleston last weekend and this was even better than that. All of the experiences were so close to my own that I felt as if I were reading about my own large family. This book is certainly due a sequel. Everyone should read about that magical time of innocence and fun. You have totally captured the feel of that time in our lives.

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Carol Aldridge
10/01/2009 05:59

Mr. Burton, loved your book!!! It was just like going home. I grew up in Powderly in the fifties so the experiences were very real. I was married to Dale for 38 years and was told many stories about roaming West End!!! What a great period to grow up in. Hope you have a second book in the making.
Carol Aldridge

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Mike Sapp
11/05/2009 14:58

Ben,What a great time reading about old Westend.I traveled back in time remembering my childhood in good ole Westend.I hope you do a sequel .May God bless you in all your endevours.
Mike Sapp

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Sharon Tarolli
11/07/2009 16:15

Dear Mr. Burton,

I grew up in the era depicted in your book.

You have so beautifully colored your characters that I sense I know them well, so well that I would like to continue to follow them as they grow and mature. I was hooked from the outset and came to love the whole family, as well as Jo--whom I could identify with somewhat. We all would have loved to be part of the Beechworth family.

Wonderful humor, mixed with "life lessons" and poignant sorrow. I want to visit Village Creek...to stand in the alley where Roy watched the toilet...to see Zack in all those clothes...to give Danny the biggest hug ever...to walk through "The Grade Divide"...and to become best friends with Jean and Irene.

I see others have asked about a sequel. Please include me with that group. Thank you for the opportunity to read your marvelous novel. I eagerly await the next one.

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Shelby Bishop
11/19/2009 16:37

Hi Ben, I am not a reader but once I started reading your book I started to laugh and cry at the same time. All the memories we had came back to life. Too bad things are not still the same. That time was so wonderful and we did not know it. I hope you write another book full of the good times we shared. Thanks and love,

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Les Tippen
12/03/2009 06:55

BEN,
JUST FINISHED "SOUTHERN SHADE". CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I ENJOYED IT. YOUR DESCRIPTIONS OF PEOPLE, PLACES AND OCCURANCES WERE SO GOOD THAT I FELT LIKE I WAS THERE. HAVENT LAUGHED SO HARD IN DECADES! I REALIZE THAT SOME THINGS WERE NOT TRUE AND SOME WERE EXAGERATED BUT IT MADE ME WISH THAT I HAD KNOWN YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. ESPECIALLY YOUR DAD. SEEMS LIKE HE HAD A HEART OF GOLD.
I GOT SO INTO THE BOOK THAT I ACTUALLY HAD DREAMS ABOUT WEST END. GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP. I SINCERELY HOPE THAT "SOUTHERN SHADE" HITS THE BIG TIME, AS IT DESERVES. MY COPY IS ALREADY VALUABLE TO ME. I WOULDN'T SELL IT FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA. (NOT AS GOOD AS ONE OF YOUR SAYINS BUT A FEEBLE ATTEMPT ON MY PART).
THANKS FOR GETTING A COPY OF "SOUTHERN SHADE" TO ME. WHEN YOU WRITE YOUR NEXT BOOK I WANT TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR GETTING ONE.
JUST HAVE TO ASK. IS THE STORY ABOUT LEON TRUE? I FELT TERRIBLE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. FELT SO SORRY FOR DANNY JEAN. OOPS! JEAN.
YOUR BOOK TOOK ME BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN LIFE WAS A LOT SIMPLER. THANKS!

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Lyman Peterson
04/06/2010 08:46

Mr. Burton,

I checked out your book on the website listed below your name after seeing it below your name in the comments column at Sodahead. When I saw it opened on Dec, 24, 1955, I knew i had to get it for my wife for Christmas. That is her birthday!lol

It turned out to be her favorite gift, and to think I wasted $850 on a necklace.
She has been after me to read it since she finished, but I don't read fiction, I guess its been 30 years that I read anything besides non fiction (nearly all political). Buy Myra kept saying I would like it. I finally gave in last week and I am so glad I did. I was reading about the Moundville trip Sunday afternoon (Easter)and that made it feel all the more compelling. I'm not saying I will start reading more fiction books noe, but I am really glad I read this one. Will be ordering more as gifts soon.

Thanks for sharing a fantastic story.

Lyman Peterson

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Nancy C. Orange
05/02/2010 16:44

Ben,

I am so very proud of what you have given to the outside world to see. I have always felt that West End during our time of growing up, was a very special place. There has been many times I've sat and told stories not only to my children, but to dear friends that were transplanted here, all about the wonderful life I had growing up there. And, not to mention reconnecting with you and the many friends from our high school, West End, something I'm enjoying so much.

Please continue your writing, as it would be such a shame to give us just a sample of your brilliant work!

My best,

Nancy C. Orange

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June Tippen Kohls
06/28/2010 12:09

Ben,
Who knew this hidden talent of yours when we were kids? Maybe you developed your writing skills later in life, but you certainly captured on paper wonderful memories of so many of us who grew up in West End. I married a fellow from New York and he also enjoyed reading your book when I had finished it and now he wants to give it to his sister (who still lives up-state New York) to read and enjoy. So, I can assure you that even those "darn yankees" appreciate a good book when they read it. Hey, you will laugh when I tell you that I was so right there in every "scene" that I even craved bar-b-que when you mentioned the " Double L" restaurant.
Do us all a favor and write another book!! From all the comments, no one wanted Southern Shade to end. You have a following now, so keep us informed on your much deserved success.
June Tippen Kohls

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joan davis slater
07/14/2010 16:32

how funny,sad, and real this book was, loved every minute and so much looked like what entries a diary of my own would look like, including the throwing of rocks across village creek with the black kids...we had a honor system like you of just one at a time...and who did not go to Panama City if you were from BHham....hope there is a sequel

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Skip Rockett
07/19/2010 19:26

Ben

Really enjoyed the book. So many memories and places I had long forgotten were a joy to re-live. I recommend this book for all WEHS friends. What a shame West End will never be the same as we knew it. Now you need a sequel moving on into high school.

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Jim McCord
08/24/2010 05:01

'Southern Shade' takes us back to a time when things were so much simpler and gives an insight to the family dynamic,which in many cases is missing today.For those of us who grew up in the fifties this book is all too real.Mr. Burton skillfully relates that era through a child's eyes and in the process allows us to relive our personal childhood.Thanks for sharing your talent and story with us Ben. Best, Jim McCord Homewood,Al.

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Vicki Williamson Juliano
08/24/2010 18:12

Ben,
'Southern Shade' is a winner. Growing up in the same era and area that you write about makes this book so much fun to read. I enjoyed every page. The memories of that long ago time came flooding back to my mind and brought back so many smiles and even a few tears. You write with so much heart. I can't wait for the next chapters in the life of Irene, Zack, Jean, Danny and the whole family.
Vicki Williamson Juliano

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Agee Family
09/04/2010 08:13

My family was introduced to this amazing book when our neighbor Ben(Mr. Burton) gave us a copy to read several months back. My father who is not much of a reader absolutely loved it. But the real joy came from my mother and I. Mom was raised in Ensley back in the 1950's, and almost every page in the book brought back a flood of memories from her childhood. Growing up, being a history buff myself, and loving the rich history of our city from the 30's to the 50's loved the rich detail Ben had in his book. It was also a special treat for me, only being 26 years old, being able to connect in a way with that special time my mother grew up in. Ben's book added technicolor to her childhood memories I had heard about growing up.

I am eagerly awaiting Ben's next book, if it's even half as good as "Southern Shade" I know it will be a hit!

~Taylor M. Agee

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Sandra Cork Huey
09/05/2010 09:53

SOUTHERN SHADE is going to be one of the best gifts I can give to friends and family members. After going through each chapter, slowly reading and absorbing each memory triggered by Ben Burton's warm descriptions of days gone by, I finished the book with gratitude for his bringing the past back to me. Each person who reads SOUTHERN SHADE will receive a warm feeling. Written with wholesomeness and good virtues of people in the 50s it's a welcome change from the modern 'morals' of today. Thank you Ben Burton for reliving the 'good ole days'.

Sandra Cork Huey

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Mary Louise Ross Harris
10/17/2010 17:16

Ben,
You are a gifted writer!
I enjoyed going back in my memory to the places you described.
Growing up in West End when we did was special. I would take a sack lunch and walk all the way to Village Creek. Go to the middle of the creek, find a rock to sit on, eat my lunch and listen to the water gurgle by. I was 8 years old at the time.
We were free as children back then.
Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for reviving the memories of my childhood in Summer Shade!

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Bill Livingston
02/20/2011 15:30

Great read Ben! Every page brought back a memory of a place or person that I had not thought of in years.My sisters knew your sisters and I will certainly share your book with them. My roaming grounds stretched, from Elyton School to the High School- a small insignificant part of the world- except for those of us who grew up there. I hope all of your West End friends buy your book, they will not be disappointed. Slugger

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Vicki Jinks McGowen
03/03/2011 05:18

Ben,
Thanks for such a great read. Having lived in the area and gone to Elyton and West End, revisiting the place through the eyes of one who lived there too was great. It was a wonder to see those places come to life again in the pages of Southern Shade. I is a book anyone would enjoy but for those of us who lived there it is even better because of all the memories it brings back. Thanks again for taking me back to a time that I had almost lost and remembering the good times.

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05/25/2011 06:01

Can I down load this on my Ipad? I am connected to Barnes and Noble

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Betty Elliott Bridgmon
06/24/2011 09:18

Ben,
I really enjoyed the book (even with a couple of typos that I found :)). So many memories and places I had long forgotten were a joy to re-live. Growing up in West End, playing hide-n-seek and tag until late at night, and being free to roam the streets to Ensley and back, was a time that will never come again. Thanks again for a wonderful book and the step back in time.

Keep up the good work!

Betty

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David Orr
07/15/2011 04:41

Ben

SOUTHERN SHADE brought back fond memories of my childhood in West End. I wouldn't have believed that someone would write a book about my neighborhood and the elementary school I attended. Excellent work! Thank you so much.

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08/03/2011 18:40

Southern Shade is a great book. Ben Burton is a talented author with the gift of bringing the past back to life. So many times while reading the book I would say, "I remember that"! The walk down memory lane rekindled a lot of my memories of growing up in a loving family. I realized while reading the book what a great place the south is to raise a family. It was even better during the Southern Shade era of the 50's. I can't wait to share the book as gifts to my family. Thanks Ben for sharing and taking the time and energy to put all of the stories in a book. It will be a good movie one day!

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Joyce Cruce Mosley
08/12/2011 13:04

Hi Ben, Wanted you to know that I received my book. I have truley enjoyed reading about the fifties in West End. I graduated in 1955 and still remember Dr. Hobbs drug store and the wonderful orange aid they made with fresh oranges. I lived near his drug store and my grandmother lived near the high school so I was all over West End. It is great having this record because things have changed so much in recent years. Everytime that I return to Alabama and Birmingham it seems as though more memories have gone the way of questionable progress. Thanks for preserving memories for us.

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11/17/2011 09:15

Southern Shade is a "must read" for those people who grew up in the 50's in the western section of Birmingham. It was like going back in time and reliving some of those days as I read the pages that mentioned places and things I had long forgotten. Thanks for the memories.

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Debbie Massey
04/27/2012 13:39

Simply put, a book that will touch on every emotion, as you are reminded of a time that was full of love for each other, where family stuck together and helped each other at every turn. Growing up on the western side of town, I recall many of the places mentioned and recall the way things used to be. Children who were respectful of their parents and parents who were devoted to their children, street vendors, soda fountains where kids hung out,egg men and milk men --a much simpler and honest time. Ben, you really captured a good bit of my own childhood in this book. I can't thank you enough for writing a book that just made my heart swell with love and appreciation for times gone by. Thank you!!!

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David Brand
05/11/2012 10:31

Southern Shade is a nostalgic look at the sights and sounds we grew up with as kids. Having grown up in the same area of town, I can readily identify with the people and places of my childhood. Thanks Ben, for the many terrific memories.

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Kay Reid
05/31/2012 17:13

Just finished reading Southern Shade, and LOVED it! Made me wish that I had grown up in a large family where each child was there for the other! The Beechworths were such a kind, down-to-earth family, and I kept wishing that I could have known them! I hope there will be a sequel, and if so, I will buy it! The writer 'hooked' me right away with wonderful illustrations, descriptions, and details. Found it hard to put it down! Thanks for a great read!

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Etta Lawsom
07/07/2012 04:36

First. I am a 64 year old black woman. Ben said he thought I would be the first black to read his book. I live downtown near Ben,s place. We talked a good while and I told him I had surgery coming up the second week in Jun. He offered to give me a copy of his book to read for nothing long as I gave him an honest review when I got done.
All during the week after surgery nurses were coming in my room to find out what is so funny. I held the book up. As I told him, this the first book I ever read that makes me laugh out loud and cry some aslso. Ben worried that the fifties, before the marches and things might bring bad memories to black folk. It don't! I can't imagine anyone who would not love Southern Shade, black or white. It is such a joy.I plan to read it many more times during my life.

Thanks you for your kindness Ben. It is a privilege to know you.
Etta

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Lisa Gundling
08/28/2012 16:55

This is absolutely one of the most delightful books I have had the pleasure of reading! The Beechworth family featured in this book is unforgettable -- lovable, inspiring, funny, vulnerable, down-to-earth and just plain real! In certain parts, I laughed until tears came out of my eyes, and in other parts, I cried until tears came out of my eyes! Ben Burton has a true gift for bringing his characters alive, and making sure that they worm their way into our hearts!

Bravo, Mr. Burton -- you've written a classic!

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eddie hannon
09/07/2012 14:57

I read Southern Shade twice. The second book was better than the first. It had to be because I don't usually pay for something twice. Ben's book is the second best book I ever read out of over a thousand. The best one to me was Huck Finn, but Ben's was better than Tom Sawyer or To Kill A Mockingbird, about a little girl head-over-heels in love with her own father.

The book reminds me of the good days of 1950's West End.The Beechworth family reminds me that people can have fun as a family group. Computers, video games and such mess were not needed to have fun. Ben painted a flattering picture of his family members. He also pointed out minor mistakes that the Beechworths sometimes made.

The narrator does seem to flatter her little brother: "He was so cute." I wonder why she said that?!

I knew most of the author's family back then. Zack (Jack) & Danny (Ben) played on the YMCA baseball team that I coached (?) at Elyton. I remember watching several members of this family as they grew up.It is too bad that West End changed fore the worse since the days of Southern Shade. I wish everyone had stayed here like I did.

Eddie (Coconut) Hannon
Abba Dabba

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Linda H. Anderson.
09/14/2012 16:25

Dear Ben Burton,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful and memorable Southern Shade. I knew when or before I ordered my copy and two more - 3 total, just from reading the short preview of this story, it would be a book that would touch my inner soul and bring back floods of warm, happy childhood memories. Another intriguing fact was knowing it began Christmas Eve, 1954. I was born in 1953 and Christmas has always held such a warm, happy and loving feeling in my heart that I was just could hardly wait to receive my copy and also knowing I had at the same time ordered 2 Christmas Gifts! So like I said, starting at Christmas, same time frame as a child, a Southern Story to boot....all I could imagine was a movie one day being made. I thank you sincerely for putting your wonderful gift of writing in Southern Shade. I hope & pray you are working on your next book! God Bless and thank you again!

Linda Anderson
120 Willow Creek South Lane
Alabaster, Al. 35007
(205) 621-9052

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Gwendolyn Chapman
09/16/2012 14:05

Reading your book is like looking into your soul. It is as though you physically opened yourself up, extracted all your thoughts/memories and somehow formed them into words that so aptly describe your feelings and take your readers on a wonderful journey. And, the journey is very powerful and poignant.

I really like this book a lot - it is a walk down memory lane...a time of youth and innocence. In a way it is so very unique and unusual. Reading it is like listening to someone talk and spill their guts out about everything - very easy casual read.

Gwendolyn Chapman
WEHS Class of 1966

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Vicki Hicks (McElroy) Gregory
09/17/2012 23:35

I used the link to access your sample pages. I truly enjoyed. Ben, you have helped me without knowing. I have probably the thoughts to make 2 really good books based on truth. I had brain surgery this year and a grandson stationed with the marines. These were my distractions. I need to join "life" again. My book starts tomorrow. I give you credit for the courage to go. Your book looks awesome so far. I'll be ordering for myself & a couple of relatives. Thanks again. (Vicki Gregory, Pell City, Al at 205 863-5325)

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KAthleen Wilson-Gray
09/21/2012 09:33

Thank you for sharing . Through this book, may will have feel emotions reminiscent of past years. This will revitalize the spirit, with strength ..for what they have endured; with laughter, from happiness they have forgotten and with sorrow for which we feel deeply and realizing, all the while, coming out of this will happen and change will move life forward. Beautiful, and appreciated.........♥

.

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Mike Burke
12/07/2012 08:39

I just finished reading the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ben's a good friend of mine and have known him since Little League days. For all of us that were blessed to have grown up in the 1950's this is a great way to go back in time and remember the way that it was.

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Diane Stephens Bell
03/23/2013 20:40

Ben, I just finished " Southern Shade". Thank you so much for bringing back so many wonderful memories. West End was a great place to grow up and reading this book reminded me of how lucky we were to be raised back in the 50's. I'm with everyone else, I'd love for you to write another one. You have an amazing talent.

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Colette
06/04/2013 14:17

I was so engrossed in Southern Shade that I felt as though I were tagging along with the Beechworth family. It was so nice to remember that time period when life was so much simpler, and it was very uplifting to observe the strong family bonds. I laughed at some of the silly antics and I was very sad over some of the troubles that family members endured. It was wonderful to escape from today's hectic life and spend a little time in Southern Shade. An excellent book!!

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Jackie Fuhrey
06/22/2013 08:16

Ben, I am telling you right now you are a passionate writer and I believe you need to pursue this more. Thank you so much for taking me to your childhood/early adolesents years. The book was remarkable and capitivating. Every chapter that I read, I looked forward to the next chapter to see what your family was doing or how all of you kids were growing up, I feel like I know the whole Beechworth family. I love a book that you can picture in your mind as you are reading it and you did that with "Southern Shade" my friend. I would highly recommend everyone to get a copy of this book, it will bring back some of the best memories of the 1950's and the southern living style that we have in the south. When life was so much simpler! Thanks so much again and keep it going and continue to WRITE!

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Dauna Vickers Scofield
06/24/2013 13:56

Ben, What a wonderful gift you have shared with so many of us as we took a trip back in time to good ole West End. Hearing so many places mentioned in this book has truly brought back some long forgotten memories. Village Creek where a friend and I used to hike after church, but not in the creek with all the "doo doo".Just along the banks. Double L bbq, which was my dad's favorite place to eat. Elyton Village and school, where a friend of mine taught for many years. I could go on and on about what a nostalgic trip you took me on. I love the way the family thinks of one another and looks out for each other. This book belongs in the Christian fiction in bookstores everywhere. Please listen to all of your fans and write a sequel and continue taking all of us on the journey down the halls of dear ole West End High. We all want to hear more about Irene, Jean, Danny, Zack, Pammy, Susie and Becky. What are they up to now? Thank you again for writing this wonderful book, Ben.
Dauna

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Willa Russell
08/26/2013 07:07

Wow, Mr. Ben Burton...........what a GREAT book. As a kid we took all of our vacations in the south (I like to call Alabama God's country)and I have visited many of the places that the book references. You have an awesome talent of allowing me to visualize everything that was happening, as if I was there. I absolutely LOVED your ability to depict dialect as if one was really there listening to the conversations. My very favorite was your use of "sayings" known only to southerners "dollar to a donut" etc. I look forward to more reading in the future. I believe I saw a few posts where the writer said they hated the ending, not the the way but that it did. I would have to agree.THANK YOU for allowing me to recollect many happy memories of a much simpler and happy time.

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Terry Stone
10/14/2013 09:05

Ben,
This is a great book (SOUTHERN SHADE) I really enjoyed it from start to the end (didn't want it to end). My wife is from Bessemer and has started to read it today. This book should be made into a TV sit-com. Gonna order Brick today!

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