Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: A Good Kind of Knowing by Kathy Harris

Imagine if Maeve Binchy grew up in Texas and wrote an old-school Larry McMurtry novel. Think Hope Floats meets High Fidelity. That’s how critics are describing A Good Kind of Knowing—from the author of the highly acclaimed and number-one Amazon bestseller, Blue Straggler. A Good Kind of Knowing is a novel about the power of music and friendship, the relationship two-steps that go on in old Texas dancehalls, and the secret to finding just a little bit of common ground in a world full of distrust. Sera Taylor's store is the one place in Lakeville, Texas, where individuals from all walks of life share a universal love for music and a respect for the gypsy-like woman behind the antique glass counter. Readers get a taste of the unorthodox connection between Sera and Mack, a young local cowboy and musician, and Sera’s previously untested devotion to her husband Bill. They learn of her relationship with Ruby D., the vibrant but misguided mother of five; with Louie, the shy high school band director; with Beverly, the religious, upper-class socialite; with Antonio, a local bar owner striving to make a life for himself; with Tommy Lee, a rich and directionless gigolo; and with Wes, the only out-of-the closet gay man for miles. As Sera battles a serious illness, the characters must overcome long-held stereotypes to save Sera’s store, and in the end, large parts of themselves. 

First word that comes to mind - Heartbreaking.  Followed by fantastic! Kathy Harris needs to put the warning label right on the front page -- You will get sucked in and you will run a gauntlet of emotions. Sera Taylor is that woman that everyone loves (well except the crazy religious socialite, Beverly).  She is genuinely interested in everyone and how they are doing, forming strong bonds with many of the patrons of her music store. When her world is torn apart by a devastating illness, the bond between Sera and the people in her world become everything to her. As all the characters struggle to deal with mortality, love, and loss, you are going to be completely enraptured with the story that is being laid out before you. Husband, Bill, struggles to show his emotions while young singer Mack seems to have a new set of feelings. Best friend, Ruby, provides some sass while Tommy Lee provides the aggravation that keeps Sera going.   When Kathy Harris approached me to do a review for her, I had told her it sounded like a heartwarming and heartbreaking story that I couldn't wait to read.  It was just that.  The characters are not always likable.  They are raw and emotional and sometimes human reaction is just not good. They are, however, all based on their love for Sera and their true feelings shine through in the end.

I give this five stars and warn you that you will need to have the kleenex handy.


Kathy Lynn Harris grew up in rural South Texas—and comes from people who work hard, love the land and know how to have a good time on a Saturday night. In 2001, Kathy made the move from Texas to the Colorado Rockies to focus on her writing and soak up All Things Mountain. She lives in a 1920s log cabin with her husband and son, plus two fairly untrainable golden retriever mixes. Kathy has written two novels, including the Amazon bestseller Blue Straggler; three children's books; a lot of bad poetry; short stories; newspaper and magazine articles; and personal essays. Kathy’s blog, You Can Take the Girl Out of Texas, but, can be found at
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