- Fizzy Thoughts: Bound South

Bound South

Sunday, July 19, 2009

bound south
Bound South
Susan Rebecca White
February 2009
345 pages

Publisher Comments:
By turns hilarious and poignant, the lives of three vibrant and unique Southern women — a proper Atlanta matron, her rebellious teenage daughter, and their housekeeper's young daughter — intersect in unexpected and extraordinary ways in this richly compelling debut novel of family, friendship, and folly.

Folly.  Yeah, I can get behind that description.  Quite a bit of this book was over the top for me, including the characters.  This was an entertaining read, but I found myself shaking my head at the direction it went.  Not that I had a particular direction in mind, it just seemed so determined to contradict the stereotypical white Southern matron character that it went it a bit far.

Louise is the stereotypical white Southern matron.  She’s settled into the role society and her parents expected of her.  She’s got the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and two kids, although one is not-so-perfect.  Her daughter Caroline is a bit rebellious, and Louise isn’t quite sure what to do with her.  Also popping in and out of the story is Missy, the housekeeper’s daughter.  Nobody seems to know quite what to do with poor Missy.

As I mentioned, there were things in the story that just didn’t work for me.  I felt that Louise ran hot and cold with her daughter.  I also felt that time moved too fast for the story.  It seemed rushed as we went from Caroline’s rebellious teenage years, through her independence in San Francisco, then on to her marriage and divorce and discovery phase.  And keep in mind that she was only one of three main characters.  Also, since I’m on the topic of our three alleged main characters, I felt Missy got a bit of the short end of the stick when it came to character development.  Although Louise is the primary focus of the novel, I think either too much or too little focus was given two the other two women.  Whichever way you look at it, I think it detracts from the overall story.  Especially since Louise has a pretty ambitious back-story going on at the same time.

Overall, I think this novel attempted too much.  Too many characters with too many stories in too short of a novel.

10 comment(s):

Lisa said...

I read this book when it came out and I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I can't say I didn't like the book, it was just ok for me. I think your review was spot on.

Lit and Life said...

Thanks for the heads up on this one. It looks like the kind of book, just from the publishers bit, that might appeal as a quick, light read. But it sounds like I could do better.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Interesting. The lack of connection between blurbs and their books just kills me.

Louise said...

Thanks a lot for your thoughts. This is a book I could easily be tempted to pick up just from the blurb, but your well written review would probably make me pick up another instead.

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the review - I think I'll skip this one.

Anna said...

Sorry this one was disappointing for you. I think I'll pass on it. The cover's great, though.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Anonymous said...

I tried to read this book, mainly because I have had such luck reading books that Fizzy has read. But I got about 4 chapters in (and struggled to do that) and was so bored. But Fizzy, you still have the same taste in literature that I have and love your site!! Happy Reading :)

Beth F said...

When I see the word "folly," I think slap-stick. I like humor, but when it veers into the silly or slap-stick, I generally tune out. I think I'll pass.

Veens said...

:-) I will give it a pass! Thank You for the honest review!

Joanne said...

The cover would have turned me off, and I'm glad to see your review makes that decision a good one for me. Sorry to hear it wasn't a what you were hoping though.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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