Publication Date: 08/05/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
(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.
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.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin.
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