Oprah Book Club author to sign books at GSO Central Library

by Lauren Cartwright

Learn the thoughts behind the words of a novelist. Author Gwyn Hyman Rubio will visit Greensboro’s Central Library on Sunday, Aug. 28 for a book signing, a reading from her new book The Woodsman’s Daughter and a question and answer session.

Adult programming director of the Greensboro Public Library Beth Sheffield is eager to hear Rubio speak. This will be the second time the author has come to Greensboro, the first time being before her first novel, Icy Sparks, became successful, Sheffield said.

This is Rubio’s second novel and is a good read. The Woodsman’s Daughter is a tale of one family’s loves, struggles and troubles through life in postbellum Georgia. Rubio captures the feelings and attitudes of the time period and transports the reader there. The plot’s pace is fast, covering three generations in a little over 400 pages.

Dalia Miller, the main character, is followed throughout the epic ‘— from the time she’s a teen until middle age. A daughter of a turpentine farmer, Dalia is the eyes and ears of the reader during most of the story. Sheffield said she loves the strong female characters that Rubio brings to life in her pages. ‘“The way her characters are so believable and you root for them,’” Sheffield said.

The story chronicles the family’s interaction, testing the theory that what you try the most not to be, you’ll eventually turn into, i.e. every daughter eventually becomes her mother. While hatching schemes to help her family, her friends and herself, Dalia’s maneuvers often foil her plans and create an even larger problem. With her drunken father and unreachable mother, Dalia becomes the protector of her sister and the family legacy.

Dalia’s father, Monroe, while a good provider for the family, struggles with his daughters, his wife, and most of all himself. His ‘common’ personality and drinking problem are the source of much turmoil in the family. Each character wrestles with different demons, but most of the problems stem from a secret that Monroe carries.

The author grew up in Georgia, but now lives in Versailles, Ky., but she does have a Kevin Bacon-like connection to North Carolina, according to Sheffield. Rubio’s father is Mac Hyman; he is also the author of No Time For Sergeants. One of North Carolina’s best known natives, Andy Griffith, starred in productions when the book was put into theater form and later in 1958 into a film version.

Icy Sparks was chosen as a book for Oprah Winfrey’s book club. The Woodsman’s Daughter can be purchased at Book Lovers, the bookstore adjacent to the Central Library. The store is run by Friends of the Library volunteers, and some of the proceeds from book sales go to the library. People interested in purchasing the book can call the store at 336.373.3777 for more information. The Greensboro Central Library is located at 219 N. Church St. Rubio will be in Winston-Salem on Sept. 17 at the South Eastern Booksellers Association convention.