Sorrow Wood is kind of a difficult book to explain. The book centers on the lives of Reva and Wendell Blackmon, documenting much of their life together. The two live in Sand Valley, Alabama, where Wendell is the town sheriff and Reva is the local judge. Throughout the book we are transferred from the present time (1985) back to previous times in the Blackmon's lives, as well as into their past lives (as seen in Reva's dreams). Mostly, the book is the story of their current life together, their difficult childhoods, and how they eventually came to be together. In the midst of learning about the destined love of the Blackmons, there is also a murder committed in Sand Valley with Wendell Blackmon trying to track down the murderer.
I really loved reading the stories of the two main characters. Much of the book takes place during the World War II era, with Wendell Blackmon serving in the Navy at the time. Raymond L. Atkins did a wonderful job of re-creating the feeling of duty many Americans felt at that time, as well as showing the sacrifice that many people made. There were also scenes from the Korean and Vietnam Wars in the book as we moved through the decades.
As with his debut novel, Atkins has created a cast of colorful characters with his latest novel. I really enjoyed his choices of words and the overall love story found in the book. I found the second epilogue to be a little bit over the top, but I think it was probably the quickest way to wrap up one of the storylines found throughout the book.