Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review of "Gone South"

Rating: 4 Stars
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Review: Journey to the old and new south in Meg Moseley's new novel "Gone South." Southern flavor accents every aspect, from the cover to the characters and plot. The novel is relatively sedate in regards to action or romance; it is more focused on forgiveness, self-discovery, acceptance, and love. "Gone South" is told from the perspectives of three main characters: Leticia "Tish" McComb, George Zorbas, and Melanie "Mel" Hamilton. Tish and Mel are both outcasts in the quaint southern town of Noble, Alabama.  As a new resident, Tish is ostracized because of her family history.  Mel is a life-long resident who faces prejudices resulting from her past rash behavior. George and his endearing Maltese are the first residents to extend friendship to Tish and Mel.  Each of the three characters were well-developed, but I was more drawn into Mel's story. Her struggles with her past and her family are emotionally engaging.  The ending of the novel glosses over Mel's portion of the plot, and I wish more time had been devoted to tying up the story lines in more detail.

"Gone South" progresses with the refined, leisurely quality of southern life, but it is never dull.  Moseley keeps readers engaged through the lives and emotions of her characters. With "When Sparrows Fall" and "Gone South," Meg Moseley has established herself as an insightful contemporary Christian Fiction author. I will definitely be on the watch for her next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/ WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summary: Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.
When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.
Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

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