Reading Matters

Hoping for sequel to Charlotte lawyer’s debut novel

A word about Phillip Lewis’s debut novel, “The Barrowfields,” out now from the prestigious Hogarth Press. Lewis is a Charlotte lawyer with Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes. Some of the novel’s scenes he sets in Myers Park, others in Chapel Hill, where the main character Henry Aster attends law school. And some on Sullivans Island, S.C., where Aster and his buddies spend a dramatic, beery weekend and where he falls hard for a young woman named Story who is searching for her biological father.

I myself fell hard for the lovable Aster, but I could’ve done without some of the heavier Gothic elements of his childhood – his wildly crazy father and the bizarre mountainside iron-and-glass house where he grew up in Appalachia. With its appealing characters, especially Henry and Story, and its evolving mystery, the novel was compelling enough without the black icing.

Says Ron Rash calls about “The Barrowfields” – “Beautifully written and deeply moving.”

I second that.

I hope Lewis is already at work on a sequel, in which he has Aster working high profile legal cases right here in Charlotte.