Praise for Snakes of St. Augustine
Updated: Oct 29
Snakes of St. Augustine was released by Regal House Publishing on September 12, 2023. (Order here.) Reviews and blurbs are below:
"Snakes of St. Augustine is a relentlessly beautiful and compelling story. Ginger Pinholster sees into the hearts, minds, and souls of her vast and varied cast of characters with grace, insight, and humor. This novel will linger with readers long after the final page is read."
—Connie May Fowler, A Million Fragile Bones
"... a compassionate, darkly comic novel about a group of alienated Floridians in search of their tribe."
—Suzanne Van Atten, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Here is a richly textured and compelling novel full of unforgettable personalities who will have you turning pages long into the night. Set in a slice of Florida that exists outside the margins of paradise, Pinholster masterfully spins a tale of humor and tragedy, trial and triumph. A book you won’t want to miss.”
—Gale Massey, The Girl from Blind River
"Sensual and involving, Snakes of St. Augustine follows multiple people’s searches for a missing man ... the narrative switches are seamless; as perspectives shift, the plot picks up from where it left off. Even Gethin’s and Jazz’s thoughts, which include instances of rambling and speediness, are easy to keep up with."
“Snakes of St. Augustine is a beautifully sensory novel about relationships both broken and built by tragedy. The setting is palpable; this book is a portal to North Florida. Pinholster’s characters are vivid (you will swear you know them in real life) and she writes with humor, empathy, and vision.”
—Meagan Lucas, author Songbirds and Stray Dogs
“I love the snakes in Ginger Pinholster’s new novel, Snakes of St. Augustine, because the people in her book love them. These snakes do not inspire fear, they do not elicit revulsion; they are powerful, beautiful, strong. As are Pinholster’s characters. This big-hearted novel is inhabited not just by dreamers and misfits, but by people struggling with serious mental illness, with addiction, with homelessness, with criminal behavior. Pinholster challenges our assumptions about their lives, without denying their pain or the harm they inflict. Steeped in a singular Florida charm, the novel reads sometimes like a thriller, sometimes like a love story, sometimes like a family drama. Take the leap: fall in love with Jazz, with Serena, with Fletch, with Rocky – maybe even with a ball python or a dusky pygmy rattler.”
—Laura McBride, We Are Called to Rise and In the Midnight Room
“In Snakes of St. Augustine, an engaging novel about desperate love and pilfered snakes, Ginger
Pinholster writes about neurodiversity with empathy and clarity. Her Florida reflects both the weirdness and beauty of her unforgettable characters.”
—Mickey Dubrow, American Judas
“Pinholster’s equally wrenching and comic novel takes place against a backdrop of dead-ended despair endemic to northern Florida. Her characters, all of them at loose ends, become bound in a vasculature of feelings that turn them into family. Pinholster is a master of detail, both physical and emotional, and in her masterful hands, even lives tragically touched by mental illness attain poetry and meaning.”
—Jennie Erin Smith, Stolen World
"An often endearing, character-driven tale set in a strange, swampy, yet familiar world."
“Snakes of St. Augustine, Ginger Pinholster’s compelling second novel, deals with young men and women emerging from difficult childhoods and struggling with mental illness. The story is told from multiple points of view and the writing is stunning and deeply engaging. The characters are complex and authentic. They will work their way into your heart and as a reader you will feel an intense stake in the outcome. A mesmerizing story that defines `page turner’—you won’t want to let go with the last page. Pinholster is a talented novelist to watch and we’ll look forward to her next book.”
—Carla Rachel Sameth, M.F.A., What is Left and One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays
“Pinholster describes wacky Florida with compassion and grace. With an ingenious plot and deeply rendered characters, the novel shows us the power of forgiveness, and the things that really matter in a nutty world: strength, love, humor, and hope.”
—Sara B. Fraser, author, Just River and Long Division
“Pinholster compassionately and deftly creates a cast of characters who live on the margin of our social fabric—people who are suffering from mental illness, who are homeless, who are struggling to get by having grown up without family support; yet these characters, some of whom have become largely invisible to society, find a family among one another. And then there is a story of stolen snakes, a missing person, and drug dealers amid the authentic ambience of a beach community.”
—Eva Silverfine Ott, How to Bury Your Dog
“The eclectic, unforgettable characters of Ginger Pinholster’s Snakes of St. Augustine wrapped themselves around my heart and refused to let go. As unexpected and original as its story, the characters of this thoughtful, compelling novel remind us that we are all damaged in one way or another and that we all need to be rescued—like the snakes of its title—from those who cast judgment on us based upon assumptions and ignorance. The novel is remarkable in many ways, including in the unfolding mystery with which it opens and in the intricate, intertwined nature of how its characters link to one another, but most remarkable is Pinholster’s graceful and respectful depiction of complex, multi-dimensional neuro-diverse characters. Rescue in the novel, or something akin to salvation, arrives through extraordinary acts of courageous love as family is redefined as a circle of those—blood-related or not—who care for one another no matter the demands requested, the heartache endured, or the sacrifice required. Your view of `normal’ will be challenged in this novel, and your heart will grow larger with empathy.”
—Mark Hummel, author of Man, Underground