I received this novel from the author via Net Galley, and it was the perfect read for my recent relaxing vacation! This is one of those “slice of life” novels, where realistic characters deal with real world problems, but with an uplifting and positive feel to it.
Here’s the overview:
Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…
When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.
Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…
“This charming and well observed novel about finding the courage to love after loss will make you smile as well as cry more than a few happy tears. Be prepared for a story of true tenderness, humor, and sometimes nail biting tension. Sweet Southern Hearts delivers all this and more.” –Holly Chamberlin, author of Summer with my Sisters
While I got the sense that there are other books that focus on these characters, this was definitely a stand-alone title. I loved the character of Linny and cheered her through her challenges. She managed to get through it all with grace and a sense of humor!
Highly recommended if you enjoy pleasant yet realistic women’s fiction.
Through Net Galley I got a copy of “The Underside of Joy” to review. This is the debut novel of Sere Prince Halverson and I enjoyed it a lot.
When Ella Beene’s husband Joe dies tragically, Ella plans to continue her life with the family store and as stepmother to Joe’s two young children. But soon their absent biological mother shows up, and she wants to be part of their lives. Ella is torn between holding on to the children she has called her own, while trying to reconcile the presence of their biological mother, who she was told had abandoned them. Ella soon learns that Joe did not share everything with her, and she struggles to find the truth and make the right choices for her and her family.
This was a fascinating book as the main moral dilemma was just that: a dilemma. Paige, the biological mother, was not evil incarnate. Ella, the protagonist, was not perfect. I found myself often asking: what would I do in this situation? While the story concluded quickly, I felt it was well-written and compelling. Additionally, there was interesting information on postpartum extreme depression (actually psychosis I believe it would qualify as) and also internment camps for Italian-Americans during WWII (I’m IA and this was new to me).
This book came out this month – I recommend it!
Thanks to Net Galley and Dutton Publishers for my copy!