Monday, August 4, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Palmetto Moon

Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin

Publication Date: 08/05/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425272109
ISBN-13: 978-0425272107

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Kim Boykin on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Palmetto Moon, courtesy of the author's website.


June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…

Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.


Palmetto Moon is a Lowcountry novel by Kim Boykin, a southern author with an air of sophistication and elegance. Her writing has all the southern charm and sweetness that can be wrapped up in a tale about a runaway bride. Palmetto Moon is set in the late 1940's when women were expected to be and act a certain way according to the conventions of the times especially in the south, but Vada Hadley had a mind of her own. Boykin knows her southern background and it's apparent on every page of this heartwarming novel. I'm looking forward to seeing where this author goes from here!

What I liked:

I love a good southern novel and this book hits the spot on that front. Boykin is from the south and you can tell it. People who write about the south often don't understand that southern mentality unless they have lived it and it's obvious on every page that this author knows her stuff. I loved the feel of this novel, from the cover to the smooth prose to the general air of southern charm and hospitality. Boykin was able to capture the time she wrote about in such vivid detail and expression. I loved that and I think it made this novel believable and enchanting. 

Vada Hadley was girl after my own heart. As my grandfather used to say, "she knew her own mind!" Marriage in general, back in the old days had little to do with love and a lot to do with family. Combing fortunes and making family empires bigger and stronger. That was certainly a factor in marrying Vada off to Justin McLeod. She didn't love him and he didn't love her. Not exactly a marriage made in heaven, but it was what her family wanted. I was glad that Vada struck out on her own and found out what she really wanted in life. Sometimes it all about learning who you are and not about what others expect of you. 

Vada was an inspiration. She wasn't afraid to take a chance. She embodied that strong southern attitude and is a character that will inspire other women to seek what they need for themselves. A very empowering kind of woman. I'm southern and I'm headstrong and I don't want anyone making decisions for me and she struck a cord with me because of that. She was easy to identify with I think women will find her fun to read about and encouraging in a lot of ways.

I always enjoy a story about two people from different backgrounds overcoming the obstacles that stand between them. I like to see how they change each other's view of life in general. Vada and Frank are two sides to the proverbial coin. She is used to a life of privilege and he has been to the school of hard knocks. I loved the way they interacted with each other and tested the boundaries of what they knew and expected from each other. He made her want to be a better woman and she made him want to be a better man. I enjoyed the dynamic between them very much. 

What I didn't like:

This book was written in first person for the most part. I'm not always a big fan of first person because it can be a bit disjointed. The point of view of the main character is interesting but often flits back and forth a bit too much for me. Vada had some great moments of clarity but she also had some moments where I wasn't exactly sure how she got from one thought to the other or one place to the other so suddenly. Just one of those style issues that might not bother most readers.

I believe in love at first sight. Let me re-phrase, I believe in instant attraction. I think it's possible to see someone for the first time and be very interested in them. I think it's possible to talk to someone for the first time and know that you have some kind of connection. I think it's possible to believe in that moment that this is Mr. or Mrs. Right. Whether that's really love at first sight I don't know. But often times it based on that inner feeling you have that something between the two of you is what you want and what you need. With Vada and Frank, there wasn't a whole lot of basis for why Frank fell so madly in love with her in the beginning. I wasn't quite sure what it was that drove his passion for her. 

Bottom Line:

This was a great southern read. Boykin's ability to write about the south in such a convincing way was a joy to read. Her sense of southern style and tradition was well founded and gave the book a sense of authenticity. Vada was an inspiring female character, strong of heart and determination. She gave women someone to cheer for and she found that she knew what would make her happy a lot better than anyone else did. In short... read it! I think you will enjoy it.

Palmetto Moon will be available August 5th from your favorite bookseller. It is available for pre-order now!

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Kim Boykin, author of The Wisdom of Hair, lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes. Palmetto Moon is her second novel.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 18th.

1. Please leave a comment a situation in your life where others wanted you to do one thing, when you heart was telling you to do something else.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Kimberly Sue said...

Everyone told me not to quit my job in VA and move back home to family in PA, when I found out I was pregnant with twins...but I made the decision to move back home, and I've never once regretted it!


Amy C said...

Many wanted to finish my art degree but I decided to marry and have babies instead. No regrets here.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I was going to head to a post-grad summer program, but didn't want to leave my dad that summer. Met the guy I married that summer, it all turned out great!

justpeachy36 said...

Those are some great comments everyone. I am a stubborn sort and don't like to be told what to do and I tend to go my own way in just about every decision. But let me tell ya that's not always easy either.

Carl Scott said...

I spent many years as a kind of artsy vagabond working in different theaters all over the country. My parents always thought I should settle in one place, get a steady job and produce grandkids but that sort of life just wasn't in the cards for me. I was too restless and driven. They never thought that was a proper lifestyle for a person to have. We had a lot of tension between us for many years because of it.

Charlotte said...

Mother didn't think I should get married when did ( I think all Moms say that, said that to my daughter :) ) it turned out just great.

traveler said...

I was pushed and prodded by my parents to take any job available and not to be so fussy. I did that and was miserable. Then decided to go to school full time. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Sue Farrell said...

My mother always wanted total control of what I did. I was never happier than when I moved far away and started running my own life.

Rita Wray said...

After my mother passed away my siblings and I didn't agree with a number of matters.

Mary said...

I decided to go to work directly after high school instead of going on to college like so many of my friends. I was a good student but just wanted to be out in the real world earning my own money. Very happy with that decision!
Thanks for the giveaway...I really enjoyed reading The Wisdom of Hair last year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie, Don't really have a lot to say that fits this question. I di get married at 16 tho while my mother was out of town because my man wanted to do that. So got pregnant right away then had to move away from my parents, so never got to finish school like I wanted. I was sorry later for not getting married with just a simple wedding so my mom could be there. She didn't complain but I'm sure it hurt her. We did fine tho and have 4 beautiful children and lots of grands and greats now. I have wanted Kim's book since first seeing it.
Please add my name. Maxie

Texas Book Lover said...

About the only thing I can think of is my family trying to get me to take a job that i know I would be completely unhappy with.

Anonymous said...

I was having a tough time at work and knew it was time leave; some people thought I should stick it out.

Anonymous said...

Was interested in a young man at work who was stringing me along - my friends and family told me to dump him; finally I did.

bn100 said...

can't think of any; do what I want

Anita Yancey said...

When I was 18 I wanted to get married, but my parents said no that I wasn't old enough and hadn't know him for very long. I didn't listen and got married anyway, and so far we have been married for 39 years. Thanks for having this giveaway.


Susan R said...

Years ago my family told me not to move to NC and marry my boyfriend. I didn't listen to them and my husband and I are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary in September and have lived in NC (and love it here) for 45 years. So glad that I didn't listen to my parents!