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"Automotive repair doubles as grief therapy in Barkley's quirky, emotionally resonant third novel , set in a small town in West Virginia...The icing on the cake is the author's touching portrayal of smalltown life in West Virginia"

Publisher's Weekly

"This terrifically entertaining first novel by Barkley...resembles nothing so much as a PG-rated country cousin to Faulkner's wonderful picaresque The Reivers. ...Thoroughly captivating debut.  First novels don't get much better than this."  *

Kirkus Reviews

"Exactly the kind of short story writer the world needs. Barkley writes with grace and wit, determined to rescue his characters and us, his readers, as well. These stories make redemption feel not only hoped for, but essential." 

Steve Almond

"...filled to the brim with fall-down funny scenes an vividly etched, unforgettable characters."

Washington Post 

"Beguiling and utterly original, Alison's Automotive Repair Manual is a modern fable of love and community."

Lee Smith

"Barkley is back and he has a winner.... we learn much about forgiveness and hope... Barkley steers this one straight into our hearts."

Library Journal

"Mr. Barkley makes writing appear effortless, primarily because his prose is so wonderfully understated--he imbues the simplest thought or comment with such significance."

Dallas Morning News

"These stories run through readers' veins like a special elixir.... Funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately honest, Barkley has widened the already-bright beam from his previous works."

George Singleton

"A tender, quirky romance...Readers who wish Romeo and Juilet had a happier ending will find much gratification in this more uplifting story."

Publisher's Weekley

"A refreshing, poetic, memorable story filled with precise small details that nudge people toward love..."


"This is a wonderful novel. . .a how-to lesson in life. . .Barkley is a gifted writer."

Jill McCorkle

"A satisfying read made richer by the better writing than that offered in most teen romances."

Kirkus Reviews

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