Gone South

Title: Gone South
Author: Meg Moseley
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Pages: 339
How I Got It: requested from publicist

***This Review Contains Spoilers***
Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident.  Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents' Civil War-era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word.  She wonders if God has given her a new dream-the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.
When Tish discovers that McCombs aren't welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines.  Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What's a lonely oucast to do but take in Noble's resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other. 
Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempst to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgoten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love, and forgiveness. 

It's hard not to love Tish McComb.  Following her heart and taking a chance on a new beginning in an ancestral home is a decision not taken lightly. But you have to respect a woman who acts on her desires (no matter how irresponsible.) With little savings, Tish is need of a job. This proves difficult due to the McComb name being mud in the small town of Noble. But in a perfect example of "someone always has it worse than you" Tish finds herself aligned with a teen runaway returning to town, outcast by the town and her own family. 
The runaway, Melanie Hamilton, overpowers this story. While a reader will be crossing their fingers for Tish, they will be cheering on Melanie. As her story unfolds, it is hard not to want to hug her and tell her that she got a bad rap. Lacking basic math and reading skills due to a previously undiagnosed learning disability, it is no wonder she was a "bad" student and cashier. Add to that her lack of parental guidance and a stubborn streak and you end up with a teenager speeding toward destruction. The thing is, Melanie doesn't want to rebel and act out, she only wants what she was promised from her grandfather, but her father disregards her wishes. 
Meg Moseley perfectly exposes the ugly alliances of small town life. Too often portrayed as idyllic and welcoming, it is refreshing to read a story of a town's outcasts. In a small town, everyone's nose is in your business and if you aren't in a position of power, your version of events will not be the one that is listened to.  I loved that Moseley gave those citizens a voice.

** I received this book in exchange for an honest review**

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