SUMMARY: The charm of the South drew her back to her family's roots. But when the town's old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?
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.
REVIEW: Old hurts run deep in Noble, Alabama and forgiveness is hard to come by, even for a newcomer like Tish. The town holds the actions of Tish's great-great-great-grandparents against her, even though she only knows them through letters and an old picture. Melanie Hamilton made a lot of mistakes, some with good intentions, and the town and her parents aren't quick to forgive and forget. I like how Tish looks past Mel's appearance (she's been homeless and on the road for weeks) and her past and offers her a place to stay, friendship and a chance to redeem herself. I like how George steps out of his comfort zone at the risk of his business to help Tish and Mel by offering friendship and a job. Most of Tish's neighbors seem unfriendly, but, after she steps out of her comfort zone to try to meet them, they are actually friendly and accepting. One of my favorite parts is when Tish tries to help Melanie by giving back a watch that she allegedly stole from her dad. When it looks like it backfires, Tish's actions actually helps Melanie mend the broken relationship with her brother.
This is an excellent book showing the reader that the past can be overcome, even if it isn't yours. This book would be a good one to put on your summer/vacation reading lists.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.
Meg Moseley is still a Californian at heart although she's lived more than half her life in other states. Holding jobs that ranged from candle maker to administrative assistant, Meg eventually contributed human-interest columns for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contemporary fiction remains her real love, and she's the author of When Sparrows Fall. She lives with her husband in Atlanta near the foothills of the southern Appalachians.