The Barefoot Summer

The Barefoot Summer - Carolyn Brown I would have to give this book 3 1/2 stars if I want to be brutally honest. I liked this book, but I was just not amazed by it.

Ms Brown writes, as usual, with a horribly unlikable protagonist- in this case a dead man who is a polygamist. And adorable (sort of) antagonists -in this case the three wives Conrad left behind. Each of these wives are as different as night and day and that works to the stories advantage.

Difficulties emerge when the Detective working this murder case starts having feelings for one of the suspects (one of the wives. Yes, all of the wives are initially suspects.)

The reasons I have for not being amazed by this novel is that I felt that Gracie (the child of the middle wife) was just too saccharin sweet, took up to much room in the book that could have been devoted more to the romance/murder aspect and that the conflict among the wives shouldn't have been 'fixed' so quickly. I started to get a bit annoyed with Kate and her waffling; I could understand it, but the fact that she kept going over the same things over and over again was a little too much.

All of that aside though -this was a read that kept me going until late in the night wanting to see how everything ended. The character's are well developed, the story was a bit unique and the mystery was, well, mysterious.

This book was written with Ms Brown's usual mixing the funny and absurd with the serious and she had a good hand with giving each of our wives (Jamie, Kate and Amanda) a unique 'voice' and personality. Some author's seem to have a bit of a problem with this.

If you are a fan of say, Fannie Flagg, I won't say that Ms Brown rates as highly as that - you will most likely enjoy Ms Brown's books -but she is on her way of being a very notable Southern chick-lit author with a great sense of style!

ARC supplied by publisher.