Daily Archives: September 21, 2011

My Summer of Southern Discomfort (Stephanie Gayle) – Review

My summer of southern discomfortMy Summer of Southern Discomfort by Stephanie Gayle
Age: Adult
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow, 2007
ISBN: 9780061236297
244 pages

After her relationship with her married boss turned sour, Harvard law graduate Natalie Goldberg finds herself working as a district attorney in Macon, Georgia, a far cry from her life as a corporate lawyer in New York . Her civil rights activist/lawyer father cannot fathom the sudden change in his daughter’s life, and Natalie’s friends are hard-pressed to understand the move. Now Natalie is forced with trying to find a place to just fit-in and find a community that she can call her own.

When I first began reading this book, two things popped into my head. 1: CHICK LIT and 2: Law Puns & cliché jokes. While those two elements are present in the book, I did find myself really enjoying the narrative and I did develop a sympathy for Natalie. Although the book had all the elements of being a cheesy chick-lit novel, Gayle managed to keep the attention focused on Natalie’s  internal and mental growth in Georgia with her new surroundings and a new culture to adapt to. I like that the author didn’t stick the main character into any overtly obvious romantic situation as part of the healing process. I did find that the book had a lot of happy endings and all loose strings were neatly tied up in the end, but sometimes a book that cleans up nicely is a perfect read for a listless weekend.

I do have to say that the librarian in me loved Natalie’s organizational habits. The Birthday Card Tickler? Genius. Her packing methods of numbering each box and making individual lists for the contents of each box…also genius. I really liked Natalie’s character. I found her to be tough yet vulnerable, bratty yet humble. Confusing and erred like a normal human being. One thing that did strike me as odd was Natalie’s father’s reaction to her career choice. How a civil rights attorney is OK with his daughter working for corporate big-wigs, but abhors the idea of her putting away the bad guys just didn’t sit well with me.

This book was read as part of the Southern Belles Reading Challenge for September.

Find this book at your local library 

Book 42 of 2011