Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer in the South

Summer in the South: A NovelAuthor: Cathy Holton
ISBN: 978-0-345-50601-6
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Purchase Link: Summer in the South
Source: Author for Review

About the Book:
After her mother’s death, Ava quits her job as a writer to spend the summer in Woodburn, TN with her college friend Will and his two Great Aunts.  Her hosts offer Ava the chance to relax on their idyllic estate while she works on her first novel.  Ava quickly discovers Woodburn is anything but quiet.  As ancient feuds and modern day rivalries emerge, Ava finds herself caught between competing cousins, impressed by family history and enamored with a house of treasure.  When she stumbles upon a dark side of the family history Ava puts her novel aside in search of the truth. As everything comes together, Ava finds herself tangled in a tragic history of a mysterious family who’s not unlike her own.  Ridden with secrets, mystery and intrigue this story has a little of everything for whoever chooses to read it.

Summer in the South is a quick and intriguing read.  This novel has a little something for everyone.  Part romance, part mystery, a hint of paranormal, humor and a load of intrigue make this book a versatile piece of fiction.  I really think almost any reader would enjoy this title.
The characters are a well developed group.  Each of them has a distinct personality that makes them unique, yet they all interact with each other in a smooth and welcoming manner.  It’s as if they belong together.  I found myself enjoying Will’s aunts.  They remind me of some of my own family and made me chuckle with their antics.
I also enjoyed Cathy’s writing style.  The story is told through a narrator who makes you feel as if Ava is telling the story herself.  I enjoyed this perspective because it gave me both an outsider’s look as well as an insider’s look.  Ava’s thoughts and feeling are well displayed yet I was able to see a bigger picture, outside the view Ava has on her world.  The novel also uses great descriptive narrative without being overwhelming.  It gives a clear picture of what’s taking place while also letting the reader’s imagination take hold.
This novel has some quiet moments where not much happens in the plot but instead gives the reader insight and understanding to its characters and surroundings.  Overall, this book has a little of everything to offer a fiction reader. With an intriguing story, colorful characters, engaging writing and a few laughs along the way, you can expect a well rounded novel.  Throw a little romance in and you have yourself a wonderful beach read!  I would recommend it.


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