SUMMER IN THE SOUTH
May 24, 2011
Ballantine Books, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group
352 pages/256 pages
Rating: 3 cups
Ava Dambrowski has lost her mother, her lover, and quit her job all within a short period of time. She wants to try her hand at writing a novel. At the insistence of a college friend, Ava finds herself in Tennessee living with her friend’s two great-aunts in their home.
Will Fraser has had feelings for Ava since she dated his friend, Michael, when they were in college. He has stayed in contact with Ava, being a friend even when she would brush him aside. Even Will has some secrets he wishes would stay hidden.
Ava moved around a lot as a child. Her mother did not hold onto possessions. So when Ava finds herself in Woodburn Hall—home to Will’s great-aunts—she is mesmerized by the family’s treasures. The stories that are behind each one interest the story-teller in Ava. With a little digging, Ava discovers things lurking in the Woodburn family’s history. Her original plans for a novel set in Chicago are put on hold as she begins to write the story of the Woodburns. She finds that this Southern family is not so different from her own. Ava is able to connect with the father she thought had died years ago and put some closure to the questions she has carried with her.
A book with the title ‘Summer in the South’ just begs for me to read it. Visions of large porches, rocking chairs and pitchers of sweet tea sprang to mind as I opened the cover. I was not expecting to get wrapped up in the pages as I followed Ava’s journey through the “closets” of Woodburn Hall. The characters dance off the pages and their images are with the reader long after the back cover is closed. In so many ways, this is a story of healing, and I appreciated that. Ms. Holton can certainly make a reader while away the afternoon involved in her stories.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance and More