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Gone South by Meg Moseley

What happens when a Yankee wants to return to her treasured family home in the South? You get the Michigan girl, Tish McComb walking into a land of the bitter. Let me explain a little..just a little. Tish's mom is moving to Florida and would like nothing more than for Tish to move there with her, but Tish is independent and doesn't see herself moving at all. That is until the old family home comes up for sale. At first she doesn't want to buy. She just wants a sneak peek at where her great-great-great grandparents lived. She has heard stories from her father. Even visited there together. But she could never imagine herself leaving home. Oh, but once she enters that grand old house she has found home.

I love the cover of this book. The beautiful southern gown with rolled up jeans underneath. This city girl finds out moving South is more than she could have imagined. What happened to charm and hospitality?

She soon uncovers why the people of this town are not so fond of her. It's the McComb name itself. But beyond the bitterness that welcomed Tish, there are a few that gave her a welcome hand.

Noble is a town that seems to hold grudges. Not only for the McComb name, but for anyone who seems to get out of line. Tish reaches out to a young girl, Mel, who is in need of a friend. Tish becomes that friend and mentor. It isn't easy, but Tish isn't the type to give up so easy. She is gutsy and carries a lot of spunk.

This is a story of discovery. Discovery of self and of God's plan for us. Not everyone is friendly. Not everyone is accepted. We may not be able to change how others think and feel, but we have a choice in how we react. This is one of the things I loved about the character of Tish. Being here in the McComb home she could have doubted who she is, but she didn't. She finds herself standing tall and proud of her name. She isn't afraid to say her name out loud. This is something she teaches Melanie. Be comfortable in your own jeans. She is ready and willing to reach out to others. She wants to give everyone a chance and the benefit of doubt.

Melanie tugged at my heart. She's a young girl who is no longer welcome at home. She has made some bad choices and her family isn't so forgiving. Sound like anyone you know? Melanie and Tish form this sweet friendship. At times, I'm not so sure who is teaching who. They both learn so much from one another.

This is great writing. I can't wait to see what Meg Moseley brings her readers next. She touches on many issues. Melanie finds herself homeless. Meg brings us to the town of Noble. We get to meet the people here and understand where they come from. She dives in and weaves a story of beauty.

This too is a story of growth. One of letting go of the past and taking a step toward the future with an open mind and a heart filled with faith. Did I mention love? Yes, there too is love. We see a romance blossom. We see neighbor reach out to neighbor and before you know it, one at a time, people begin to change.

We not only get to know Tish and Melanie, but other characters. Characters who are real and grow on you. Before you know it, Noble kind of seems like home. As Tish uncovers more and more about her family roots she decides to find the good. To allow the good to out way the bad. She is one of those girls you want in your corner.

I really enjoyed reading this story. The title could mean so very much. Tish moving South and kind of everything going South once she gets there. It's not too long before she realizes she is right where the Lord wants her to be. God has a way of bringing truths to light. We see what really matters. It's not our name or where we came from. It's not even our past. It's the heart of man.

Yes, this is definitely one of those stories that leaves you pondering long after the last page has closed.

This book was a gift from WaterBrook Multnomah for sharing my review.

Meg Moseley is still a Californian at heart although she's lived more than half her life in other states. Holding jobs that ranged from candle-maker to administrative assistant, Meg eventually contributed human-interest pieces for a suburban edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contemporary fiction remains her real love, and she's the author of When Sparrows Fall and Gone South. She lives in Atlanta near the foothills of the Southern Appalachians with her husband.


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