Things are Going to Slide

Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
Winston Groom describes Things Are Going to Slide as “a gripping tale” that “beautifully renders the texture of Southern life.” In this compelling page-turner, heroine Marilee’s life quickly begins to spin out of control when her husband leaves her, her first love steals a promotion from under her nose, and her legal clinic must defend a teenager accused of killing her newborn. A must read. More

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About Rangeley Wallace

Rangeley Wallace moved from the South toWashington, D.C. where she is an author and a lawyer. She is the author of No Defense (St. Martin’s Press).

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Review by: andrew popper on Oct. 15, 2012 :
Review: THINGS ARE GOING TO SLIDE, by Rangeley Wallace (Bev Editions at Smashwords, 2012)

Accomplished author and professor Rangeley Wallace has a new novel, Things Are Going to Slide – and that is very good news for those who loved her remarkable breakout work, No Defense (St. Martin’s Press) and even better news for those who are as yet to experience the work of this talented writer. As with her previous work, Things Are Going to Slide is a delicious celebration of compelling plot and perfect dialogue, in this instance coupled with insights into the challenging world of clinical legal education.

Wallace, an experienced clinical law professor, knows the ins and outs of law schools, clinics and clinical faculty, and deans. Her work sparkles with a keen sense of the politics of retention and tenure and the interplay between personal preferences and professional accomplishment. Her characters are real, troubling, at times heroic, and perfectly woven together in this fast-paced, thrilling, and highly personal tale.

The plot emerges immediately and stays present in every line of dialogue and each well- honed description of setting. The story takes place at the fictional (and so very real, but for the name) Alabama Southern University School of Law. Marilee Cooper, the backbone of the school’s clinical program, is up for consideration and the logical choice for a newly formed and prized endowed chair. She is derailed by an associate dean who has a very different agenda. When Marilee, pregnant with her second child, is denied the chair, as the title suggests, things do begin to slide.

Marilee learns that not only has the chair has been given to another professor (a former lover) but her position on the faculty is in grave jeopardy unless she publishes a law review article in a time frame she knows is next to impossible. In short, she is being forced out. Instead of being supported by the dean, she has been lied to and betrayed. Things at home aren’t any better – issues with her child and her sister complicate and compound her problems.

Even while in the eye of a professional storm, Marilee is somehow able to go forward with her clinical teaching. The interchanges with clients and students (and of course the courts) provide readers a rare and wonderful insight into the complex world of clinical legal education, walking the thin and difficult line between insuring competent representation of clients and letting the student-lawyers find their way in the legal system. Author Wallace understands lawyering and teaching and it shows. Marilee is that smart and well-tuned teacher who knows when to intercede and when to allow students to take carefully thought through risks.

Clinical professors rightly debate the very essence of the law school clinical experience. Guide too heavily, intrude too often, and students neither learn much nor invest fully in their role in a clinic. In contrast, a clinical professor who remains too separate, allowing student learning exclusively by the triumphs and inevitable mistakes students make, serving only to help students reflect on that which has transpired could place clients at risk and could end up teaching inadvertently something short of excellence in the practice of law. For Marilee, the balance between guidance and nondirective reflection is natural and instructive to readers, no surprise given author Wallace’s years as a clinician.

Among the many hidden treats in the novel are Wallace’s wonderful touches with the small things in life (and academia). The natural phenomenon of an approaching storm is seen through insights of Marilee’s bird-watching father. The horror of a shaken baby is case is experienced though the reddened coloring in the eyes of the accused mother. Insights into the difficulties of clinical teaching are expressed through the titles of Marilee’s draft law reviews articles.

American clinical legal education has come of age in the last quarter century. Remarkably talented clinical teachers have reimagined lawyer training and law schools. Prior to the publication of this novel, the important story of modern law school clinics has not been told in an easily accessible way. Things Are Going To Slide changes that – this is a book very much worth reading by an author very much worth following.

Review by Andrew F. Popper, Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law and author of two novels, Rediscovering Lone Pine (West) and Bordering on Madness: An American Land Use Tale (Carolina Academic Press), two casebooks, numerous articles and other publications.

THINGS ARE GOING TO SLIDE, by Rangeley Wallace is available at Amazon.com, through the publisher, and in other online locations:
http://www.amazon.com/Things-are-Going-Slide-ebook/dp/B0098PHUK6
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/233255
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ona Porchswing on Sep. 30, 2012 :
If one were to read only the short synopsis, Things Are Going To Slide, might sound like just another contemporary piece of women's fiction. But a reader needn't scratch the surface much in order to discover it is more than that.

This smartly written story by Rangeley Wallace, defies the genre descriptions typically used to tout commercial fiction. Though both a legal drama and contemporary romance, the author, an attorney herself, offers this work as an occasion to educate, as much as to enterta...more
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ona Porchswing on Sep. 30, 2012 :
If one were to read only the short synopsis, Things Are Going To Slide, might sound like just another contemporary piece of women's fiction. But a reader needn't scratch the surface much in order to discover it is more than that.

This smartly written story by Rangeley Wallace, defies the genre descriptions typically used to tout commercial fiction. Though both a legal drama and contemporary romance, the author, an attorney herself, offers this work as an occasion to educate, as much as to enterta...more
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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