I think I would almost title this book as an allegory…it is one of those few books that comes pretty close to falling into that category.
After finishing “Gone South” last night, I closed that last page and thought how much like Christ Tish represented in the life of Mel. Selflessly giving where the opposite was definitely the more socially acceptable response, she showed Christ in the most perfect of ways. She’s truly a character to set an example by. But she certainly didn’t come without her own share of struggles.
Mel was definitely the most interesting character to me. A young woman with so many hurts deep down inside and a stereotype that has been branded on her like a scarlet letter. She’s one of those troubled characters that you can’t help but ache for.
The novel is emotionally complex which drives the main plot and has one of my favorite kinds of romance: the non-traditional love story. The romance doesn’t drive the plot. The characters really almost don’t drive the plot. The theme of grace definitely does. “Gone South” isn’t a romance or even an overtly Christian novel, but a love story about Christ’s love for us, forgiveness and above all else, grace.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
More about the novel...
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.
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