Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Barefoot Summer by Carolyn Brown

Product Details

"New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown returns with a heartbreakingly hilarious novel about three women who had nothing in common, except their husband.Leaving one widow behind is unfortunate. Leaving three widows behind is just plain despicable. Oil heiress Kate Steele knew her not-so-dearly departed husband was a con man, but she’s shocked that Conrad racked up two more wives without divorcing her first. The only remnant of their miserable marriage she plans to keep is their lakeside cabin in Bootleg, Texas. Unfortunately, she’s not the only woman with that idea.
Fiery, strong-willed Jamie wishes Conrad were still alive—so she could kill the scoundrel herself. But for their daughter’s sake, she needs that property. As does Amanda—twenty-eight, pregnant, and still weeping over the loss of her true love. On a broiling July day, all three arrive in Bootleg…with a dogged detective right behind who’s convinced that at least one of them conspired to commit murder. One momentous summer filled with revelations, quirky neighbors, and barefoot evenings on the porch offers three women the chance to make the journey from enemies to friends, and claim a bright, new beginning. " 



I would have to give this book 3 1/2 stars if I want  to be brutally honest. I liked this book, but I was just not amazed by it.

Ms Brown writes,  as usual, with a horribly unlikable protagonist- in this case a dead man who is a polygamist. And adorable (sort of) antagonists -in this case the three wives Conrad left behind.  Each of these wives are as different as night and day and that works to the stories advantage.

Difficulties emerge when the Detective working this murder case starts having feelings for one of the suspects (one of the wives. Yes, all of the wives are initially suspects.)

The reasons I have for not being amazed by this novel is that I felt that Gracie (the child of the middle wife) was just too saccharin sweet, took up to much room in the book that could have been devoted more to the romance/murder aspect and that the conflict among the wives shouldn't have been 'fixed' so quickly.  I started to get a bit annoyed with Kate and her waffling; I could understand it, but the fact that she kept going over the same things over and over again was a little too much.

All of that aside though -this was a read that kept me going until late in the night wanting to see how everything ended.  The character's are well developed, the story was a bit unique and the mystery was, well, mysterious.

This book was written with Ms Brown's usual  mixing the funny and absurd with the serious and she had a good hand with giving each of our wives (Jamie, Kate and Amanda) a unique 'voice' and personality.  Some author's seem to have a bit of a problem with this.

If you are a fan of say, Fannie Flagg, I won't say that Ms Brown rates as highly as that - you will most likely enjoy Ms Brown's books -but she is on her way of being a very notable Southern chick-lit author with a great sense of style!

ARC supplied by publisher.

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