"Curing Time" Book Review

“I loved “Curing Time”. With absorbing artistry, Tim Swink depicts the mid-life struggles of a single character to weave a multifacted tale of love and friendship, of bitter rivalry and murder, of human weakness and the magical power of life itself. As he chronicles the changes sweeping over rural America (and the nation) in the late 1950’s, Swink paints one of the truest portraits of race relations during that era that I have read. Full of great detail and insight into how a troubled soul affects all around it, “Curing Time” marks the arrival of a talented new Southern writer.”

~J. Peder Zane, author and former book review editor,
Raleigh News and Observer.

"Curing Time" book reviews on

 5.0 out of 5 stars:  I love this book! A Must Read! Review By WillieReads
I love this book! “Curing Time” moved me in unexpected ways that I wasn’t ready for  and I didn’t see coming.

Tim Swink has given us a poignant portrait of a struggle that mankind has known since Adam & Eve.

What I thought was a story about tobacco farmers, I quickly discovered was a beautifully written tale of family, love, loyalty and life’s never ending changes that indeed  sometimes can change the very soul of ourselves and of our country.

The message in “Curing Time” is powerful and a must read. I’m giving it to everyone on my Christmas list. You will NOT be disappointed in this extraordinary read! 

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 5.0 out of 5 stars:  Good rural southern fiction Review By Beth Hensley
I enjoyed the book, which describes many aspects of rural agricultural life in the South of years ago. I enjoyed reading about a life and lifestyle that is unknown to me, but was intimately familiar to housands throughout the south. As the plot progresses, it is hard to find qualities to like in the main character, but in the end, redemption is very satisfying. I look forward to reading more about this family in future novels. 
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5.0 out of 5 stars:  Powerful work of historical fiction Review By Ernie99
I have purchased many books from Amazon but this is the first book for which I felt compelled to write a review.

Tim Swink has written a powerful work of historical fiction. This story takes place in the tobacco fields of North Carolina during the late 1950s. This book spoke to me because I grew up in the rural South in the 1950s; however the story could be about any man lost in a world changing beyond his grasp, and the fight to preserve family and livelihood.

It is the story of Hume Rankin, his family, and his way of life. It is also the story of Walt Neal. Walt Neal is the black man who works for Hume and whose family lives in a cabin on Hume’s land. Through Hume and Walt we also see a realistic look at the black and white co-dependency in the rural farm life of the 1950s. In many ways we see that the lives of Hume and Walt are more alike and more intertwined than either ever imagined.

It is through Walt’s blind wife, Daisy, that Hume is made aware of a dark underworld that a rational man would not disturb. The unfolding story leads us to question whether Hume’s desperate intrusion into this spirit world might ultimately be his undoing.

“Curing Time” is the term for the aging and maturing process that tobacco undergoes after harvest, when the tobacco is transformed into its final, perfected form. In this story we come to understand the term is also a metaphor for the “curing time” of a man’s soul. Will the change and adversity impacting Hume’s world strengthen him or will it destroy him, his family, and his way of life. Can Hume survive and adapt to the changes coming to his life?

Also, did a devastating series of misfortunes drive Hume to inconceivable violence?

In an ending twist, we find that Hume’s salvation may actually come from an unexpected source.

“Curing Time” is a multilayered and multifaceted story that would make a wonderful movie. Although it is rooted in the rural South, I believe it is a story with universal appeal. People should not think this is just a story about tobacco farming, because it is so much more than that.

I enjoyed the book and I also liked Tim Swink’s writing style. For example, the first sentence of Chapter 13 begins: “The sun peeked up over the landscape, hot and ornery— unusually so for a June that was no longer young.” Tim Swink’s vivid and descriptive writing added depth throughout this book.

“Curing Time” was a brilliant debut novel by Tim Swink, and I was happy to learn that he is now working on a sequel to “Curing Time”.

5.0 out of 5 stars:  'Curing Time', a great read! Review By Robert Godfrey 
I am just 'taken' by Tim Swink's novel, "Curing Time." I highly recommend it. Tim develops a twisting, wonderful, page-turning plot, beautiful, lovable characters, around a late 1950's rural North Carolina tobacco farming setting, which comes alive with mid-life struggle and crisis, race relations, a murder  (which the reader is certain they have solved, only to be shocked in the end), and the magic and spirit world of an old, blind black lady.

It is just a great, beautifully written book. I felt I had been on a great literary journey, full of wise lessons to be learned, while stirring the emotions from the outset. Congratulations to Tim, definitely an up and coming great southern writer. Do yourself a big favor and get a copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars: Curing Time Review By John R. Thomas (Swarthmore, PA USA)
Tim Swink is an authentic, genuine and incredible story teller. He has a talent for depicting ordinary characters in difficult lives drawing on hidden resources to survive. Magical!