Bach, Peggy. “The Searching Voice and Vision of Mary Lee Settle.” Southern Review 20 (October, 1984): 842-850. After outlining the various critical assessments of Settle’s work, Bach supports her own insistence that it can hardly be rated too highly. In the Beulah Quintet, Settle has traced a family through three hundred years of history, showing how desperately even people beginning fresh in a new land need to have a sense of their past.
Galligan, Edward L. “The Novels of Mary Lee Settle.” The Sewanee Review 104 (Summer, 1996): 413-422. Galligan offers a general view of Settle’s fiction, focusing on her variety and unpredictability in order to undergird his argument that she is worthy of a serious place in American letters.
Garrett, George. Understanding Mary Lee Settle. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988. Garrett is one of Settle’s most prolific analysts; in this work he offers an overview of her oeuvre, including sympathetic discussions of her major fiction, with special attention to the Beulah Quintet. He also devotes chapters to Blood Tie, Celebration, and some of her nonfiction.
Joyner, Nancy Carol. “Mary Lee Settle’s Connections: Class and Clothes in the Beulah Quintet.” In Women Writers of the Contemporary South, edited by Peggy Whitman Prenshaw. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984. Stresses the theme of social rigidity and social injustice in Settle’s Beulah Quintet.
Rosenberg, Brian. Mary Lee Settle’s Beulah Quintet: The Price of Freedom. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. Rosenberg examines the Quintet as a single fiction instead of a series of related novels, seeing it as a grand-scale work which uses the history of West Virginia as a paradigm of the history of the United States.
Speer, Jean Haskell. “Montani Semper Liberi: Mary Lee Settle and the Myths of Appalachia.” In Southern Women Writers: The New Generation. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1990. Speer contends that in the Beulah Quintet one of Settle’s purposes was to debunk such myths as the assumption that there is a single, easily defined Appalachian culture whose people are both ignorant and innocent.
Stephens, Mariflo. “Mary Lee Settle: The Lioness in Winter.” The Virginia Quarterly Review 74 (Fall, 1996): 581-589. Novelist Stephens records her acquaintance with Settle, including material about Settle’s life, politics, and writing. Stephens believes that politics inspired a negative review of Choices.