Have you ever wished you were somebody else? I mean have you ever maybe wished your family tree had more exotic foliage on it and not just have the ordinary green leaves? Have you ever wanted to leave your hometown and move somewhere exciting where things are "happening"? Do you have a secret from your past that you wished never had happened, but you have never dealt with it, preferring to move far, far away and just ignore it?Well, these are all issues that Piper Wick, aka Piper Pickwick is dealing with. And she is learning the hard way that even though you might be able to escape reality for a season, the truth will ALWAYS find you out. But even better, the truth will ALWAYS set you free.Leaving Carolina is Tamara Leigh's latest novel but the first one I have ever read. Written in first person, it is the type of novel that draws you in immediately by teasing you with just enough storyline to make you want to read further and just enough back story to keep you piecing it all together. I truly enjoyed Tamara's writing style of incorporating humor, mystery and romance into one delightful, easy-to-read package. Personally, I enjoy Christian contemporary novels but I do find a lot of them to be unrealistic and a little too sugary-sweet. Leaving Carolina does not fall into that category and I look forward to reading more of Tamara Leigh's novels. I think this would be a great read for a book club as well, because it would propagate lots of discussion questions.
What a fun book. I smiled. I laughed. I liked this book. Ive read two others by Leigh and I think this is her best.Piper Pickwick left her home town of Pickwick twelve years ago amidst questionable circumstances. Shed like to leave her hometown in the past having even changed her name to Piper Wick. But she must go back to keep her elderly uncle from revealing all the skeletons in the family closet.From the moment of her arrival, things go wrong. A handsome man, crazy relatives, and an obstinate uncle make her life a comedy of errors. As Piper faces her past she must decide whether she will come clean in the present. Shes a high power PR person back in L.A. Certainly she can control this situation...or can she?Theres great humor and just enough romance to make this book fun. A readers guide at the end of the book makes this a good choice for reading groups. I look forward to the next one in the series.This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
The reasons why people leave home vary and are numerous but many times it's to escape the past that hurt us. That's the reason why Piper Wick has left her hometown and shed her true name. Her past has been painful and she wants to do anything to remove herself from that environment. Unfortunately for her, she gets sucker punched into returning and finds herself having to confront with the very things she's tried to run away from. If you like sweet tea, watching Paula Deen, and find yourself say y'all in your conversation, this book is for you. It's very southern and brings alive the flavor of the culture. The main focus of the story is on forgiveness and it does this without being overly preachy. Also learned are lessons on judging and trust as well. The whole entire Pickwick game could stand to learn from these lessons as they are one big dysfunctional family.Piper's character allows you to hurt with her and understand why she's become who she is today. I must say after reading what her aunts and cousins did and said in the past, I would have shaken the dust off my heels and left as well! Thank goodness the book insists on reading the rest of the verse in order for the lesson to truly come across the way it was originally intended.While I enjoyed this book, I didn't gel with it as well as I have with Leigh's other books. I just felt like I couldn't relate nor get as close to Piper as I have with Leigh's other heroines. Also this book gives off a less chick lit feel that the others. The character is the same age but acts older and more mature. There is less humor in this book and the tone is more serious. I also didn't find the romance to be as fun or engaging as past stories. Still though, I did enjoy the book and I'll be looking forward to reading the sequel and finding more about the inhabitants of Pickwick.
"Leaving Carolina" is a humorous (almost "chick-lit") Christian romance novel. The pacing was excellent, and I enjoyed the story so much that I didn't want to put the book down. The world-building was also excellent with details about the place and people's jobs bringing the world alive in my imagination.The characters' relationships with each other were realistic and something I think many readers could relate to as was the core situation/problems of the book (is looking good to others worth living with secret guilt? is making peace with those that hurt you worth the potential pain?).I enjoyed that the romance went a bit more like they do in real life with several reasonable misunderstandings followed by straightening things out as the two got to know each other. I also liked that they didn't kiss at their first impulse but that tensions were left to simmer for a bit.The novel was written in first person present tense ("I run" versus "I ran"), but I didn't even realize this until the last few pages of the novel.The characters weren't super-spiritual or morally squeaky-clean, but God does have an impact on their lives. The novel wasn't preachy. Overall, I'd highly recommend this novel as well-written, clean fun.