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.