Gone South is a contemporary book with a prodigal returns storyline. An additional storyline is about fitting in or rising about it, if you don't fit in. I enjoyed Tish as the main character and Mel and George as the top supporting characters. The two women get into their share of mischief. Tish's spontaneity is both foolhardy and laudable. Check out this book for a lesson on doing the right thing, no matter how painful it becomes. Waterbrook Press provided me with a copy for review and I loved it!
Old enemies and old hurts lie in repose to foster a prejudice in the heart.
Tish McComb becomes the new owner of her Great Great Great Grandparents home in the deep south. She longs to escape the hurtful past that seems to plague her, a past that harbors feelings of inadequacy and unwelcome. As in every situation hope for change seeks a quiet ending.
When an unexpected visitor of the furry kind shows up at her front door finding the owner George Zorbas of Antiques on Main was not a challenge.
Mel a girl without a home to claim as her own befriends Tish, who takes her into her Grandparents home and creates within Mel a new persona.
Understanding, Reality, Bitterness, Sacrifice and Love creatively brings the reader a novel that can be savored and enjoyed from the first chapter forward. Well developed connectable characters grace the storyline, well flowing plot that contains no dull or broken parts, authentic scenery and easy to follow dialogue round out this hard to put down book. I loved George's character so down to earth! I thoroughly enjoyed this inspiring and faith challenging read and will recommend this book to others. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for my review.
Tish makes an impuse decision to leave her home in Michigan and buy the old McComb house in Noble, Alabama, the house the original Leticia McComb lived in with her husband in the 1870's. But she hasn't bargained on being the town pariah the minute she arrivesÃ¢â¬âit seems that her father's telling of the family history has missed a few things out. And things get more difficult when she takes in the homeless Mel Hamilton, the town bad girl who has been kicked out by her parents. Tish soon meets George Zorbas, owner of the town antique store and a dog who believes she still lives at the McComb house.
There is a romance, but it's slow and not the main focus of the story, which is the relationship between Tish and Meg, who both felt ostracised and alone in their growing-up years and are both now struggling to be accepted in a town that doesn't want them (it seems that the idea of the Ã¢â¬Ëwelcoming South' only goes so far).
While Gone South is published by WaterBrook Multnomah, a Christian publisher, the story isn't outwardly Christian. Meg and Tish pray occasionally, neither go to church (and the churchgoing townspeople could do with learning a little about the concept of Christian forgiveness). I usually like my Christian fiction to be a little more Christian, but this worked for me.
I liked the fact that the characters were real people with faults and worries (including financial worries). I liked the fact that the romance took a back seat to the other relationships: Tish and Meg, Meg and George, George and Stu. I especially liked the fact that although Gone South wasn't overtly Christian, the underlying prodigal son theme was definitely Christian. Recommended.
Thanks to the WaterBrook Multnomah and Blogging for Books for providing a free ebook for review.
Meg Moseley's Gone South is a beautifully crafted, stand-alone novel that brings the reader to the small southern town of Noble, Alabama - into a setting where classic cars, antiques, handwritten letters from generations past, and a grandfather's gold watch add much interest. Anyone who has made mistakes and longed for or received a second chance can easily relate to this story.
I loved this story even though I'm not a fan of classic cars or antiques, which goes to show that quality writing and character depth trump all else for me. Tish and George are well drawn, likeable characters, but it was Mel that captured me the most.
Tish buys a house previously owned by her great-great-great grandparents and moves to Noble, only to quickly discover that the older residents still harbor hurt and anger over the way her family treated people during Reconstruction days. Tish once told her Mom: "If there's one thing I learned from all our moves, it's that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. It's just another pasture. With its own cow pies."
George, an antiques dealer, had a love-hate relationship with his dog that was so funny! A sweet romance slowly develops between Tish and George, but it's a secondary focus. And classic car fans will love the '70 Chevelle SS 454 that he bought and worked on.
It is Mel around which this story revolves - a prodigal who tries unsuccessfully to return home - and my heart went out to her from the beginning. Mel refers to a poem by Robert Frost: "There's this line that goes, 'Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,' but for me it's more like 'Home is the place where, if they won't take you in, you know it's not home anymore.'" Met with a wall of rejection instead of open arms from her father - "My dad wants perfection or nothing" - Tish takes Mel in and nurtures her when no one else would. The interaction between Mel, Tish, George, and Mel's brother Stu is one of this novel's strengths.
The spiritual themes of friendship, mercy, second chances, and love are all there, but rather than speaking out about their faith all the time, the characters modeled their faith, and I liked that very much. Gone South exemplifies the "I was a stranger and you invited me in . . ." teaching of Matthew 25.
As part of the uplifting ending, Tish's character makes a beautiful connection between antiques and life. Antiques were "visible reminders of overlapping lives and events. The continuum of generations. No generation would ever stand alone."
Gone South is quality character-driven fiction, and I highly recommend it to all readers.
This book was provided by Meg Moseley and Multnomah Books in exchange for my honest review.
This is a sweet summer read that will keep you engaged. The main character is a northerner who decides to move south to purchase her ancestor's home but all does not go as planned. I enjoyed the stereotypical interaction between small town people and the Northern personality. The interaction between Tish and Mel was well done as you end up with two "outsiders" who find commonality in their struggles to be accepted by the community. There is of course a love story intertwined as well. All in all a great summer read.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.