Cover image for Myra Sims
Myra Sims
Owens, Janis, 1960-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Sarasota, Fla. : Pineapple Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
477 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Readers received a refreshing introduction to the Sims and Catts families in Owens' first novel, My Brother Michael, narrated by the inimitable Gabriel Catts. Here to tell her side is Myra Sims, the apex of a love triangle that includes Gabe and his brother, Michael. Myra's fresh perspective will bring new insight to a story of incest, adultery, and hard-won love among the denizens of Magnolia Hill, a Florida Panhandle mill town. We follow Myra from her violent childhood and entrancement with Gabe's snap-eyed genius, through her marriage to the older and more stable Michael, to her breakdown and renewal as she battles the demons from her childhood that haunt all three of them. In the end, you will, as both Gabe and Myra do, love Michael.

Author Notes

Janis Owens was born in Marianna, a small town in the Florida Panhandle. Her father was a preacher and insurance salesman who moved his family to Mississippi and Louisiana before settling back in north Florida. She earned a degree in English and Southern History from the University of Florida. She is also the author of Myra Sims, the companion to My Brother Michael.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Admirers of Owens's first novel, My Brother Michael, may be disappointed with her attempts to retell the same story, this time from the eponymous Myra Sims's point of view. (Myra's brother-in law, Gabriel Catt, narrated the previous book, an account of his unquenchable love for the woman who became his brother's wife.) This version, again an affecting tale of incest, adultery and hard-won love among the lowborn denizens of a West Florida mill town, begins, like the first, with Michael, Myra's husband and Gabriel's brother, dead at age 43. Again we have flashbacks to their traumatic childhoods and to the adulterous liaison between Myra and Gabriel. In an arduous process of recovery, Myra confronts the truth that her adultery was the result of a drug-fogged mind and recognizes that Michael was always her true love. Myra's cynical view of her affair with Gabriel negates his romantic perception that the encounter was passionately reciprocated. Unfortunately, the ambitious endeavor of revealing an unexpected perspective to a story already once told also reveals some narrative insecurities in this gifted author's insightful, homespun style; here she indulges in repetitive minutiae and some overwrought prose. Yet Owens is a writer with a remarkable talent for touching the heart of a tale and endowing the circumstances of humble lives with dignity. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Readers got a refreshing introduction to the Sims and Catts families in Owens's first novel, My Brother Michael (LJ 12/96), but there is more than one side to every story. Here to tell her side is Myra Sims. Perhaps it is her fresh perspective as narrator, or perhaps it is Owens's more confident and poignant writing, but this retelling adds depth to an already complex and haunting tale. Readers will become engrossed in the stories of brothers Gabe and Michael Catts and the woman, Myra, with whom their lives are entangled. For those who are new to their story, these strong and refreshing characters will not disappoint. Owens has proven she is a Southern writer who is here to stay, at least in the hearts of her readers.ÄShannon Haddock, BellSouth Corporate Lib., Birmingham, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.