If you're a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons, it's a fairly safe bet that you'll like this new book from debut novelist Maryann McFadden.
With a somewhat familiar premise of a wife/mother leaving home to find her true self, this book held some surprises, as well.
When Joanna, a longtime and long-suffering corporate wife, ups and leaves her New Jersey home in search of a better life, she ends up in South Carolina, living as a caretaker to Grace, an elderly and dying woman who has come to the beach to live out her last days.
That in and of itself is enough of a storyline. But, McFadden also follows the story of Paul, the left-behind husband. In all honesty, at first this irritated me, reading his point of view when he's initially portrayed as a fairly unsavory guy. However, these were the parts of the book that grew to be my favorite, the words devoted to his own journey from high-powered sales executive to an unfamiliar life, one in which he must learn to find his new place.
The descriptions of the life on Pawleys Island are well-written and evocative, and if you're a lover of Southern fiction, you should pick this one up and add it to your summer reading pile.