Blurb: Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
Fab, fab, Travel chick-lit. I'd jet-set anywhere with Lauren Clark, after such an amazing read.
Julia Sullivan is already over the brink of success with her "job" being a travel writer. She's seen IT (Paris, Milan, you-name-it) all, shopped it all, graced her presence there all, sipped it all, ate it all. All the exotics around the globe. And consequently... Alabama.
Alabama! Thanks to her "boss". Her job is now on the line. All she's stopped working for is now about to slip out of her hands. And it's all up to Alabama to save her career.
With a boyfriend who doesn't mind she's quite bland in the emotional department, a mother who just passed away and a dad returning after so long, follow Julia's journey as she zips through idle Eufaula, converse with the too cozy (used in an icky way) people of the South, meets some wacky family members, engage in a little espionage for unmasking a bad guy, losing her heart to a man. And most importantly, making a discovery of her own: the infamous Southern Charm.
The voice of Lauren Clark kinda reminded me of Weisberger's. Really witty, more extravagant descriptions and a magazine a million tourists would die for. I honestly have a soft spot for books written with a setting of a chic, sophisticated magazine. Especially when I want to own one of those thingies someday. So falling for this wasn't hard at all (*smooches*).
Love that it was a chick-lit with substance. One most women would relate to. Loss. I'm sure like me, others would be reading and nodding to the truth in it. Though I haven't experienced it yet, there's never a getting over from the loss of a mother. And Ms.Lauren portrays the theme so well. Without being too dramatic. You could actually feel Julia's pain, share in her numerous lonely moments and empathize her. Perhaps the reason I loved the approach of such a dark subject could be the little moping scenes in it. It's a no-no for me if a wtiter keeps readers down and irritable with a sad lead.
The fact that not an ounce of this book was predictable was just so winkable. If not for the blurb I wouldn't have gained any foresight. And I never guessed where Lauren was taking me because I never minded. Just enjoying the soothingly in-your-face plot with OMG moments that got me turning my kindle over and gasping.
There are lots of characters that made this book rock. Of course, Julia was one of them. The Jordans would be very fun to dine with, if you ignored your host's dad's leers, his mother's drinking habit, his sister's infuriating little daughter and his wacky girlfriend. And you might want to protect your identity from British-speaking roommates who'd want to go New York but only if they new someone there. You might end up loving the too hospitable people of the South in this novel, if you can just forget how touchy they are.
I give this book four stars
Another star could have been released if its humor was way perched up there. Not sure if there were laugh-out-loud moments, but there were some lip-twitching ones in there.
I recommend this book for anyone who'd want a makeshift character evolving from a very fast-paced life to a less vibrant and homely one. You would also love this book if you are in for something unpredictable. Or perhaps, you are dealing with loss you think you can't recover? This book might be IT for you especially when you hate the sound of self-help as much as you hate flipping through pages of such books. Or want the perfect holiday location (Alabama)? Hop on.
Can't wait for Lauren's next.
My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads and Amazon.