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Once in a Blue Moon

Vicki Covington

John F. Blair, Publisher
$26.95 hardcover
6 x 9  
256 pages
April 2017

Abraham Kasir has properties scattered across Birmingham, but the ones on Cullom Street hold a special place in his heart. So does his newest tenant, Landon Cooper, a transplant from one of the city’s ritzier suburbs. Landon’s a psychologist managing her own mental illness in the face of divorce and downsizing. Her upstairs neighbor, Abi, is a country girl trying to shake her rural roots even as her father’s illness pulls her back home. Across the street, Jet is a former prostitute reeling from an uncovered truth about her birth mother. Jet has a crush on her neighbor Sam, a weed dealer paying his way through college and wrestling with his dreams for the future. Mr. Kasir acts not just as a landlord but as a father figure to each of them—and most of all to his grandson, Jason. Fresh out of high school, Jason is trying to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps while his own father struggles with drug addiction.

These are the voices in Once in a Blue Moon, Vicki Covington’s new novel set during Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Change is in the air as readers follow this community through one transformative year. In league with other great Southern novelists including Anne Tyler and Fannie Flagg, Covington writes with tenderness and humor while asking important questions about family, faith, race, class, and—ultimately—hope.


“It’s wonderful to have a new Vicki Covington novel to recommend.  Once in a Blue Moon tells the story of a little community of lost souls who find each other in a season when hope and change seem like real possibilities. This is a lovely book, full of delight and real feeling. I can’t think of another quite like it.

Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama and Georgia Bottoms

“Vicki Covington is one of the most gifted and talented writers of the New South. In her latest novel, Once in a Blue Moon, she has created a most interesting group of diverse and unconventional characters, thrown together by chance, who soon come to discover the true meaning of friendship, family, and community.”

Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking

“I wondered if anyone could ever capture the excitement so many of us felt at Obama's first election. Vicki Covington, an expert at conveying emotion, has. She also describes the intricate and specific world of Southside Birmingham, which conveniently has counterparts in every Southern city—small pockets of progressive and diverse life where people go along and get along. I'll keep this tender book on my shelf.”

Rheta Grimsley Johnson, author of The Dogs Buried Over the Bridge