Customer Reviews

69
4.1 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
From the surprising twist that made me laugh out loud at the end of the first chapter, I knew that "Bound South" was about subverting the South's stereotypes. Here's a book that reveals the realities obscured by the carefully polished surfaces--the family secrets and scandals, the suppressed yearnings and emotions, the confidences trusted only to best friends. And yet this novel's characters feel "bound" by their Southern upbringings, which create a fascinating tension as they strive for greater possibilities in their lives.

The story switches back and forth between the first-person voices of three women: Louise Parker's creativity and individuality are hindered by the expectations of her as an affluent Southern matron. Louise quietly envies the greater freedom and opportunities open to her teenage daughter, Caroline, who seems overwhelmed by it all. And Louise's unexpected involvement in the life of Missy, her housekeeper's evangelical daughter, adds an "Upstairs, Downstairs" element to the tale.

"Bound South" is funny and charming, a compelling page-turner that's surprisingly moving towards the end. While it subverts the south's old pretenses, it also celebrates what's best in its changing culture.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Like the other reviewers, I did enjoy the book. The characters evolve over time and the author has a great grasp of what it is like to live in the South - the good and the improving. My only complaint (and it is a big one for me) is that the book ended abruptly. I was reading, waiting for some sort of denouement, and it just ended. I will read this author's next book, but I may read the end first. :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book!I really didn't want it to end. It was so fun and playful at times and at other's very real and meaningful. I laughed with Louise and Tiny and felt deep in my heart the struggles of Caroline to find herself. I felt like I had met some of the characters before and longed to know some of the others in real life. I loved the different looks at the women in this novel, each attempting to find herself in different stages of her life. You learn something about yourself, your mother and even your grandmother through watching these women evolve. I will share this book with the people that I care about; to share the beautiful complex picture of the South and the families in it that Susan White has so accurately reflected and enhanced for our enjoyment.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
There are two things I love. Reading new authors and southern fiction. I stumbled across this book online a couple months ago and was intrigued by its premise.

Louise is the mother of two children, living a cushy life in Atlanta with her lawyer husband and two children. Caroline is Louise's teenage daughter with a mind of her own. Missy is the young daughter of Louise's housekeeper who has her own ideas of how one should live their life. It's interesting to follow the lives of these three southern women through what becomes eight very important years in each of their lives.

As Louise's children are growing up, she realizes that her life is also changing. She begins to look back on the choices she has made, sometimes feeling regret. At the same time we learn a lot about her childhood and how she became the woman she is today. We meet Caroline when she is seventeen years old, very headstrong, thinking she has the world figured out. As the story unfolds we see her grow into a responsible adult and in her relationships even seemingly moving backward towards some of the patterns she used to criticize her mother for. Missy was very young when her father walked out on her and her mother without ever looking back. She always had the idea that one day he would come back and the bond between them would never again be broken. Missy's quest to find her dad is enlightening for her.

This is a book I enjoyed very much. Each cleverly titled chapter is written in the first person alternating between each of our three protagonists. This gives you a sense of who will be telling that part of the story. The year is also given to indicate how much time has passed since we last heard from them. This enables the story to move through time smoothly and without slow parts. This technique works wonderfully for this book. The story begins in 1999 and ends in 2008.

One of the things I liked about this book was the beautiful cover. It's vibrant colors and the femininity of the barefoot woman in a sundress carrying her high heel is appealing. They used the technique of the 'headless' girl, which is very popular with publishers these days. It gives an anonymity to the character, allowing the reader to form their own images in their minds eye.

I also liked the characters, but my favorite is Louise. I liked the way she dealt with the changes in her life as her children grew up and she realizes that there's more to her than being a mother and a wife. She's not afraid of new challenges. My favorite thing about this story is the bond that forms between Caroline and her mother. Louise wants Caroline to be true to herself and not sacrifice her dreams for someone else. She and Caroline also discover qualities in each other that were always there, but were skewed by normal parent/child conflicts.

This is a great book for anyone who loves southern fiction with equal parts of drama and humor. It's a quick read that I really enjoyed, mainly because I liked the characters. I wanted to keep reading to see what happened to them. I also liked the ending. I could picture it in my mind and I felt happily content upon finishing the book. This is Susan Rebecca White's first novel and I think it is very good. I will not hesitate to pick up her next book. She will always have a spot on my bookshelf.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Susan Rebecca White has instantly leapt to the top of the list of my favorite contemporary authors, and I eagerly await what gifts she may bring us in the future. What a wonderfully well written story of family, growth and life in the South by a strong new Southern voice that could easily belong to the lovechild of Clyde Edgerton and Anne Rivers Siddons! By bringing us Bound South, Susan Rebecca White joins the ranks of a wonderful company of witty, honest Southern writers.

From the opening pages of the book, I found myself at times deep in thought and at others in stitches. The characters are ALL so superbly developed and the story zips along so much that I found myself yearning for more at the close of the final chapter. The Parker family puts the "fun" back in dysfunctional, and Susan Rebecca White delivers a riotously funny, tenderly sincere first novel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bound South is an extremely well-written book that features three main characters: Louise Parker, a stereotypical wealthy southern wife and mother; Caroline, Louise's daughter who causes quite a scandal during her senior year of high school resulting in her departure from Georgia; and Missy Meadows, the young daughter of Louise's maid whose quest to find her father brings about a life long consequence. The book is told in the first person view point of each of these three women, spanning a ten year period (1998-2008). HELPFUL HINT: On the first page of each new chapter is the date in which the story in the chapter is occurring. Pay close attention to these dates because the novel does not read in exact order. I would find myself plowing ahead (because the book was so great) and then having to turn back a page to see what year the chapter was taking place in. This actually makes the novel really interesting!

The three characters deal with their own issues (all of them in some way feeling "bound" by their Southern upbringings and certain expectations of Southern women) throughout the novel and by the end, they really seem to find themselves and come to appreciate their Southern ideals yet accept what is changing (for the good) in the New South. Besides being interesting and complex, I found all three women really likeable as well.

Being originally from the South, I felt that White's portrayal of Southern values and traditions was extremely accurate, even when she writes, "A wedding doesn't really count if it's not a the best driving club in town." This is a little shallow, but I have definitely heard the same statement come out of many Southern mouths!

I think Southern readers will love this book, as so much of current fiction is set in New York or California; and readers who are not from the South will enjoy this look into a slightly foreign place governed by Old South "rules." Enjoy!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I purchased Bound South because the cover was appealing and seemed to promise a light-hearted,entertaining read. The book is indeed entertaining and has its light-hearted moments, but the big surprise is the absolute brilliance of its structure,its interwoven stories, and its satiric comedy.Each chapter can be read as an independent story, but after you have read them all, you realize that they all relate and make real ten years in the lives of Louise,John Henry,Caroline,and Charles Parker, and Missy Meadows and her family. There are unexpected occurrences and connections along the way and laugh-out-loud surprises,such as the revelation to Nanny Rose at the end of chapter one. In addition to the great characters and stories,Ms White manages to sneak in social commentary that in spite of being somewhat subversive is hilarious.All in all, Bound South gave me far more than I expected and I highly recommend it to all readers who like a good story blended with some serious issues and a lot of humor.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Powerful, deeply perceptive and laugh-out-loud hilarious, White has crafted a richly satisfying portrait of what it means to be a woman growing up and growing older in the modern South. I recognized my family, my friends, and myself in these characters. Told in rotating first-person, the narrative shifts between the entwined lives of three Southern women: creative Southern matron Louise, her artistic daughter Caroline, and Missy, the evangelical daughter of Louise's housekeeper. I fell in love with these women, their strengths and shortcomings and the intricate, relentlessly human ties that bound them to one another and to the changing landscape of their heritage. It's funny and honest and surprising all at once--what I look for when reading fiction.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I've just finished Bound South and feel slightly lonely--the sign of a good book. I love Southern fiction and this book delivered. The story is told in three voices, that of Louise Parker, a middle-aged married lady born and raised in Atlanta, Caroline, her "wild child', and Missy, the daughter of Louise's cleaning lady. Each voice is true to their standing in the story. The author has created a story that is at once laugh out loud funny--the first chapter had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading and explain what was going on to my spouse--and in another three pages had me reaching for the Kleenex. These characters seem like real people, and I miss them already.
88 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Holy pickles, what a fabulous book. Oh, I'm getting all teary just thinking about it, it was that good. AND it made me giggle out loud, earning me some funny looks on the airplane. But what's life without funny looks? Even more to the point: what's life without wonderful books? Fortunately for all of us, we won't have to find out as long as Susan R. White keeps writing. Susan--write MORE!!!!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
A Place at the Table: A Novel
A Place at the Table: A Novel by Susan Rebecca White (Paperback - March 4, 2014)
$11.93

A Soft Place to Land: A Novel
A Soft Place to Land: A Novel by Susan Rebecca White (Paperback - April 6, 2010)
$12.12

The Pecan Man
The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck (Paperback - January 1, 2012)
$9.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.