I have recently read three books set in the South - one bad, one good, one indifferent.
The Devil in the Junior League - Linda Francis Lee
This was sheer fluff but I did enjoy it. If you've lived in the land of country clubs it's hard not to recognize the characters. Set in Texas, our heroine is queen of the Junior League and all she surveys until her hubby cheats on her and takes all her money. In order to fix this AND keep the whole ordeal hush-hush, she has to enlist the services of her new-money neighbor who is a shark of a lawyer. The fee? Get his tres tacky wife into the League. It's pretty funny, actually, and the heroine is somewhat redeemed by the whole experience. It would be a nice poolside diversion this Summer.
Big Stone Gap - Adriana Trigiani
This one was set in the mountains of Virginia, but that's where the Southern thing ends. The heroine is a thirty-something, second generation Italian immigrant who has landed in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. It's all about her coming to terms with her identity and her heritage. She also finds love but I just couldn't come to terms with her choice. She ends up with a coal miner which never made any sense to me because she is such a smart, sophisticated character. I mean, he's nice and all but I just couldn't see it. This book just never caught my imagination.
The Firefly Cloak - Sheri Reynolds
But this one did. I think I read it in a day. The heroine is a young girl looking for the mother who left her in a campground with her little brother when she was a child. All she has to remember her mother by is the 'firefly cloak' she was wrapped in at the time. She grows up with a loving grandmother and the story is told from each woman's point of view. It's all about mothering and daughtering and intention and regret, longing, loss, forgiveness - fabulous stuff. It's set somewhere on the Eastern Shore. I took it to be Virginia, but it could be Maryland. Still, there's enough rich, mystical imagery to fit the Southern genre. I loved it. Current Mood: tired