A Southern Novel of Second Chances
From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.
Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.
This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.
Talk about a dysfunctional family! The Harlan clan defines the word. This is a dark tale of rape and incest--the opposite of a fluffy read. Based on the biblical story of Tamar who was raped and told to keep it quiet, one of the characters suffers years of abuse while heads are turned away. With no one to comfort her, she thinks less and less of herself.
Chapters are written in first-person with the voices of two characters: Anniston (Anni) and Comfort. By writing with this two-narrator structure, the author allows the reader to see the story from two perspectives. I liked this and thought it helped me dig into the "meat" of the novel. I felt closely to both characters.
Discussion questions are included along with several Southern recipes. It might be a good choice for a book club to read, followed by a supper using the recipes found at the book's end.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and David C. Cook for my copy.
If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.
If you would like to buy a copy, click here.