Being from Alabama, I was immediately drawn to Gone South by Meg Moseley. Just by reading the description, I was intrigued because the novel takes place in the state where I plan to always call home–sweet home Alabama.
Tish McComb has called Michigan home, but the roots of her family tree run deep into the heart of the South, straight to Noble, Alabama. Tish leaves behind memories of heartbreak when the old Southern home that once belonged to her ancestors comes onto the market and she surprises herself by purchasing it. With no plans of what she would do, she packs up and leaves Michigan behind expecting to be greeted with warm Southern hospitality.
Tish quickly realizes that maybe Noble isn’t full of the Southern hospitality she expected as it seems that people all over town are ignoring her. She finally learns from a local business owner, George, that it’s not her imagination and the history he gives her explains some of the cold shoulders she has received and proves that not all transgressions are easily forgotten.
Tish finally seems like she begins to find herself in Alabama when she takes in a young girl, Mel Hamilton, who is known for being a thief and whose family wants nothing to do with her. Though many people have hard feelings towards Tish for sins of the past, Tish’s relationship with Mel proves that sometimes all a person needs is a second chance. Her compassion towards Mel inspires George to do the same and upon doing so, he is able to do something for Mel that no one else has been able to do all because he took the time and paid attention to her rather than going solely off of the rumors floating around town about her.
It almost seems that Mel’s presence and their shared desire to help her, pulls George and Tish together and George begins to fall for the “Yankee” in town. However, at times in the book I wondered whether Tish would be able to move past the heartbreak she left behind in Michigan in order to make a relationship with George work.
Gone South is one of those books that, once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down. Between wanting to know why the town held such a grudge against a woman they didn’t know and wondering what would become of Mel Hamilton, I was completely sucked into the story.
The main thing I took away from Gone South is the power of forgiveness. It seems to be a central theme in the book from Tish needing to forgive someone she didn’t even realize she was mad at, to the brother of Mel Hamilton who had believed the rumors about his sister when the real problem was that no one took the time to understand her.
Even when Mel messes up, Tish never loses her cool with her or kicks her out. She continues to forgive her and ultimately changes the course of fate for this girl. This really shows what can happen when a person has someone who believes in them when no one else would.
I loved Gone South and will definitely be recommending it to all of my avid reader friends. You can find it on Amazon here: Gone South