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Heaven Is a Beautiful Place
A Memoir of the South Carolina Coast

Genevieve C. Peterkin
In conversation with William P. Baldwin
New Foreword by Lee G. Brockington
New Afterword by William P. Baldwin

Peterkin's recounting of stories of her family circle and her lowcountry home now available in paperback

Born in 1928 in the small coastal town of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Genevieve "Sister" Peterkin grew up with World War II bombing practice in her front yard, deep-sea fishing expeditions, and youthful rambles through the lowcountry. She shared her bedroom with a famous ghost and an impatient older sister. But most of all she listened. She absorbed the tales of her talented mother and her beloved friend, listened to the stories of the region's older residents, some of them former slaves, who were her friends, neighbors, and teachers.

In this new edition she once again shares with readers her insider's knowledge of the lowcountry plantations, gardens, and beaches that today draw so many visitors. Beneath the humor, hauntings, and treasures of local history, she tells another, deeper story—one that deals with the struggle for racial equality in the South, with the sometimes painful adventures of marriage and parenthood, and with inner struggles for faith and acceptance. This edition includes a new foreword by coastal writer and researcher Lee G. Brockington and a new afterword by coauthor and lowcountry novelist William P. Baldwin.

Local historian and environmentalist Genevieve C. Peterkin (1928–2011) lived in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, for most of her life.

William P. Baldwin, a lifelong resident of the South Carolina lowcountry, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels The Hard to Catch Mercy and Charles Town.

Lee G. Brockington is a senior interpreter for the Belle W. Baruch Foundation at Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown County and the author of Plantation between the Waters: A Brief History of Hobcaw Barony.

"Peterkin's book is a treasure. Not quite an autobiography, not exactly a history, it is a very personal account of a special time and place and the people who made it so."—Columbia (S.C.) State

"Titled after the popular spiritual, this book candidly depicts the life and times of many residents of the lowcountry through stories that sing of the joys and sorrows of everyday life."—Library Journal

"If you read one book about South Carolina this year, make it Heaven Is a Beautiful Place."—Lexington County (S.C.) Chronicle

"Heaven Is a Beautiful Place is simultaneously local and universal, intimate and expansive, funny and sad. . . . The hopeful quality of Heaven comes through distinctly, especially in Peterkin's wisdom about embracing the moment."—Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier

"Peterkin's voice and Baldwin's editing . . . give glimpses and insights into an evolving sea coast community."—Coastal Observer


New in paperback

book jacket for Heaven Is a 
Beautiful Place


6 x 9
272 pages
28 b&w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-602-5
hardcover, $24.95t

ISBN 978-1-61117-523-3
paperback, $18.95t

ISBN 978-1-61117-524-0
ebook, $17.99t

    Copyright ©2018 The University of South Carolina Press