In West Mills

In West Mills

For readers of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Turner House, an intimately told story about a woman living by her own rules and the rural community that struggles to understand her.

Azalea “Knot” Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors’ gossip won’t keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home.

Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt as a teenager to help his older sister, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he’s busy trying to fix Knot’s life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light.

Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.

Title:In West Mills
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781635573404
Format Type:

    In West Mills Reviews

  • Angela M

    “Why you so set on bein lonely, Knot.” Otis Lee Loving, Knot’s best friend and neighbor asks the question, but I’m not sure I ever found an answer here, and I’m not sure that Knot knew the a...

  • Elyse Walters

    Hats off to debut author *De’Shawn Charles Winslow*!!!!! I’m memorizing his name!!! *De’Shawn Charles Winslow* is sooooooo talented!!! His writing is indisputable, unequivocal, irrefutable, genu...

  • Diane S ?

    Following the lives of a group of people in North Carolina, West Mills, the book opens with a young woman telling her boyfriend to get out. Meet Azalea, nicknamed Knot, a hard drinking, hard loving wo...

  • Michelle

    What a debut!! Everyone should put De'Shawn Charles Winslow on their list of authors to watch!This wasn't on my radar at all, but Buzzfeed listed this as a must read for summer and the short synopsis ...

  • Never Without a Book?

    De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s debut novel In West Mills, spans from 1941 to 1987, twenty-six-year-old Ornery Azalea aka knot moves to a small black community in West Mills, North Carolina to get away...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    When you think of a historical family saga you probably start thinking about large estates, upstairs/downstairs intrigue, and melodrama. IN WEST MILLS delivers on the drama, but it removes the wealth ...

  • Stacy Campbell

    In West Mills is not a debut novel. It can’t be. From the first line of the novel, I knew I was in for a Southern adventure. What I didn’t anticipate was the familiarity of the journey. Azalea “...

  • Tia

    My rating is 4.5 stars Quick thoughts...I was hoping the end wouldn't lose me and it did. I just knew I was confused and there were more pages to turn, ugh! However, I am funny about endings. Especial...

  • Michelle

    "In October of '41, Azalea Centre's man told her that he was sick and tired of West Mills and of the love affair she was having with moonshine. Azalea - everyone called her Knot - reminded him that s...

  • Rebecca

    (2.5) I read the first 162 pages out of 257. There are echoes of Toni Morrison (especially Song of Solomon) in this debut novel set in the small fictional town of West Mills, North Carolina. Wilson ha...