Buzz & Accolades
Jury of One
"Jury of One keeps readers on their toes to the very end."
—Jonathan Haupt, coeditor, Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy
"In Jury of One, John Warley takes on the ultimate moral dilemma: a judge in a small Southern town, a decent and highly respected man of honor, is torn between doing what is right and doing what is just. His decision will not only affect the lives of others but also change the kind of person he sees each time he looks into a mirror. This fast-paced, skillfully rendered courtroom drama is filled with all-too-human characters who speak to the struggles all of us face in the age-old battle between right and wrong, justice and injustice."
—Cassandra King, author of Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy
The Home Guard
“Part coming-of-age adventure, part love story, part multi-generational epic, The Home Guard further secures novelist John Warley’s place as a southern writer of high merit. Against the backdrop of the Civil War and the lowcountry on the precipice of monumental change, young Beaufortonian Carter Barnwell is torn between his Southern familial loyalties, the responsibilities of burgeoning adulthood, and a blossoming affection for the newly arrived Sonja Sunblad, a teenaged teacher in the Port Royal Experiment. Warley’s historical novel brings a diverse, conflicted cast of characters vibrantly to life and immerses us into a masterful tale of the strife of war pitted against a steadfast fidelity of the heart.”
—Jonathan Haupt, Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort
“With a large cast of unforgettable characters – both historical and fictional – and a backdrop of indelible splendor, John Warley has spun a tale of adventure, romance, and reckoning set during a pivotal moment in our nation’s fraught history that reverberates profoundly, even today.”
—Margaret Evans, Editor, Low Country Weekly
A Southern Girl
“John Warley’s marvelous novel A Southern Girl is the best book I’ve ever read about Charleston’s mysterious and glittering high society. Its affirmation of the enduring power of parental love vying against that enigmatic realm is reverential and stunningly original, as stylish as a novel by John Irving and as tightly written as one by John Grisham. I wish I’d written this book.”
—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini,The Lords of Discipline, South Abroad, and others
“A stunning achievement, A Southern Girl is a beautifully written, heartfelt account of a father's love for an adopted daughter and his struggles in helping her find her own identify in an elite yet conflicted society. This triumphant story belongs to anyone who has ever loved, grieved, questioned, rejoiced, despaired, and risked it all for the strongest bond of all, that glorious, undefinable unit we call family.”
—Cassandra King, bestselling author of five novels including Moonrise
“As I began reading A Southern Girl, I was quickly caught up in the story, to the point of forgetting what I knew about the author. . . . Instead, I was pulled into these characters’ complex lives. With Elizabeth and Jong Sim and Hana and Coleman, I struggled with the practical versus the profound. I considered the problems and the benefits of birthright, tradition, opportunity, exclusion. I thought about loss and renewal and what constitutes family. I contemplated the questions of what we owe the people we care for and what we owe ourselves. I wondered how—or whether—Allie, the Korean born Southern girl at the center of it all, would come through her experience all right. We are affected and shaped by many forces in our lives, and among those forces is the power of story. A Southern Girl is one that I hope will move you as it has done me.”
—Therese Ann Fowler, New York Times-bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
“With both skill and passion, John Warley carries the reader through generations and countries. Following plot twists and heart-turns, we become a member of many families, loving and loathing as we do in any real family. A Southern Girl is rich with trustworthy and vulnerable narrators who allow us the privilege of entering the secret traditions and lore-soaked South as well as the clandestine corners of the character's souls. This is a gorgeous, heartfelt book from a masterful storyteller; I didn't want to miss a word of Warley's whispered secrets.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of And Then I Found You, Coming Up for Air, and others
"Nobody does family pride like a Southerner. But in his balletic, big-hearted new novel, John Warley cajoles and challenges the limits of that pride. Here, it's the beaming, fatherly love awakened by an adopted child that's cause for celebration, rather than one's ancestral silver or membership in the St. Cecilia Society. While reading A Southern Girl--a rebel yell for the traditional, non-traditional family--I was wondrously reminded of theologian Stanley Hauerwas's great line: "If you want to welcome the stranger, have a child." No kidding."
—Robert Leleux, author of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy and The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting & Forgiving
“John Warley’s novel takes us on a fascinating and emotional journey that proves to be a richly rewarding story of life and family. It’s simply unforgettable.”
—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author of ten novels
"Everyone should read and love this unforgettable novel. John Warley has skillfully written an intimate portrait of a conservative Southern family—and a world away—a mother’s painful choices. This is one of those rare novels that linger in both your heart and mind long after the last page has turned. I’ve reserved a spot for A Southern Girl on my 'This one’s Special' bookshelf."
—Bev Marshall, author of Walking Through Shadows: A Novel , Hot Fudge Sunday Blues and others
“Forget what you know about the South. John Warley serves up a unique perspective and challenges perceptions of the southern belle. A powerhouse of emotion, A Southern Girl explores the depths of parental love and the lengths to which it will go. Warley’s words are fresh and urgent and beg you to keep reading.”
—Nicole Seitz, author of A Hundred Years of Happiness and Beyond Molasses Creek