Tag: Southern Fiction

Apr 07

Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Contemporary Fiction 3

Greetings Bookworms!

I am on an absolute roll with the water works this week, you guys. I cried while watching Inside Out (expected) AND Trainwreck (unexpected). Then I cried during two different books. Not that I don’t cry a lot, because I am totally a crier, but it’s a little unusual to have so many instances of non-real-life crying in a single week. My subconscious is probably just super pissed that it’s April and it’s still pretending to be winter and icky outside. I have a point, I promise. The second book to make me cry this week was Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for review consideration. She seems super nice, but I’ll still give you an honest opinion. I’ve known you longer. And, you know, integrity, blah blah blah.*

LiesandOtherActsofLoveLynn “Lovey” White has seen a thing or twelve during her sixty years of marriage. You can’t be married that long and raise a family of five daughters without appreciating the art of the little white lie. Life hasn’t been perfect, but she’s made it work. At this point, she’d just like to see her family happy and settled. Unfortunately, her granddaughter Annabelle has been living in a whirlwind. After dumping her hedge fund manager fiance, Annabelle rebounded FAST with a musician she met and married within the week. When Annabelle’s life begins to spiral out of control, she comes to understand that things aren’t always what they seem and that difficult choices are part of this whole life gig.

Lies and Other Acts of Love was a bit of a complicated read for me. I simply adored Lovey and Dan’s story- in fact, I’d read an entire book about their life together with no complaint. The overarching themes of love being complicated and the idea that there’s often more to a fairy tale love story than meets the eye? Totally resonated with me. Great stuff.

But then there was Annabelle. You know how sometimes when you’re reading a book you want to jump into the pages and give a character a good shake? That’s how I felt about Annabelle. I don’t fault the author for this, my frustration with the character was 100% about my own personal hangups. That’s part of the fun of reading, though. Different books affect people in different ways. Annabelle drove me bonkers. She just kept making terrible choices. The fact that a single character was able to get under my skin so much is a testament to the author’s skill, though, don’t you think? I mean, most of the characters I’ve most wanted to give a stern “talking to” are out of classic novels, so if that’s any indication of quality, this was quite well done. Bottom line? If you like Southern fiction and aren’t completely jaded by the concept of love at first sight, Lies and Other Acts of Love could absolutely be a winner for you.

Soooo Bookworms, let’s talk. Tell me about some of the fictional characters that drove you bananas. Please? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. The author will also receive a commission. I think. I don’t actually know how it works with book sales. Kristy Woodson Harvey really does seem exceptionally nice, though, just in case you’re on the fence about the purchase. You probably won’t want to punch Annabelle. Clearly that’s on me.*

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Mar 13

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

Family 13

Howdy Bookworms,

How y’all doing? You remember how much I loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt? You don’t? Well. Go HERE. I’ll wait. Back? Good! Fortune smiled on me a few weeks back and I won a $20 gift card to Book Depository from I Solemnly Swear. Amanda was kind enough to allow me to go 14 cents over my gift card allotment so I could order Beth Hoffman’s newest offering, Looking for Me. (Thanks, Amanda! You’re a peach!)

lookingformeTeddi Overman was raised on a farm in rural Kentucky with her parents, grandmother, and little brother Josh. She finds her calling early in life when she discovers a broken down chair on the side of the road. After refinishing the chair, Teddi can’t get enough of restoring old furniture and hunting for treasures at yard sales. Eventually she makes her way to Charleston, South Carolina where she starts her career in antiques.

While Teddi is painting and refurbishing, her brother Josh is traipsing around in the woods. He’s obsessed with the wilderness surrounding their Kentucky home. He is a passionate environmentalist and horrified by the misdeeds of poachers and animal abusers. One Thanksgiving, he takes off for the woods and never comes home.

Teddi is haunted by her brother’s disappearance, but mysterious signs begin to appear that suggest he may still be alive. Teddi embarks on a journey to mend family fences and accept her past… You know, your feel-good-journey-of-self-discovery kind of vibe.

It won’t surprise you to hear I enjoyed this book. Hoffman created some delightfully quirky peripheral characters I couldn’t get enough of. I mean, Teddi’s best friend is a rare books dealer with a giant collection of Pez dispensers… Can you GET more fun than that? PLUS, Teddi has a little dog that she describes as looking like Snoopy. My childhood dog was basically Snoopy personified. I can only assume Snoopy aged into a crotchety stinky old man dog, so the comparison with Sir Benjamin the Snob is spot-on.

If utterly charming Southern fiction with a side of cool old stuff is your thing, I highly recommend Looking for Me.

Tell me, Bookworms. Since a killer Pez dispenser collection was mentioned in this book, I simply must know. Do any of you have quirky collections? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Mar 03

The Peach Keeper By Sarah Addison Allen

Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction 25

How Y’all Doing, Bookworms?

I have really been digging some Southern Fried Fiction lately! I recently finished Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, and now I want to talk about it. (Novel concept, right? I should probably write a book blog! Oh wait…)

peachkeeprWilla Jackson lives in Walls of Water, North Carolina. Her family were once fancy folks, but after falling on hard times in the 30s, they had to sell off the fanciness and go back to being normal. Also in town is the resident perfect princess, Paxton Osgood. She’s well dressed, well mannered, and appropriately ensconced in the local women’s society club. These two gals have very little in common, until fate sees fit to push them together.

Fate and a skeleton. Yup. The site of Willa Jackson’s once proud family home was in the midst of a glorious renovation via Paxton Osgood, when a tree transplant leads to the discovery of a body. In order to attempt to solve the mystery of the dude planted under the peach tree, Willa and Paxton seek answers from their respective grandmothers, who were besties back in the day.

I had fun reading The Peach Keeper. There was a supernatural undercurrent I wasn’t expecting, but rather enjoyed (very Alice Hoffman-esque.) There was one particular scene that stuck out to me, and I can’t just not discuss it, because it involves Sarah Michelle Gellar. That’s right. She who was Buffy. Midway through this book, the ladies club has a lunch with a super swanky caterer, and the caterer seems to have some special powers. It’s a tertiary plot point, but it reminded me SO MUCH of SMG’s masterpiece of a Rom-Com Simply Irresistible. You know. The one where she became a cook and somehow the food absorbed her feelings? People would start crying and/or floating while eating dessert? No? Ah well. When you have a couple of hours to kill and you need something ridiculous, check it out.

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Sorry for the digression there, the 90s, you know? I get distracted. In addition to the mystery, the magic, and the mayhem, there are some romantic entanglements and a whole lot of ladies realizing the value of friendship. In short, The Peach Keeper was sweet. If you are in the mood for something to pull you out of a wintery funk, this could be just the ticket.

 Because I’m constantly getting off topic, I may as well ask. Do any of you have a favorite Rom-Com from the 90s? Or some random movie you watched too often with your college roommate? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a commission.*

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