Wednesday, October 29, 2014

G416 Book Review of Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin

Name of Book: Palmetto Moon

Author: Kim Boykin

ISBN: 978-0-425-27210-7

Publisher: Berkley

Type of book: Lowcountry, 1947, clean romance, South Carolina, Charleston, courtship, friendship, happy endings

Year it was published: 2014


June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.


The characters of Frank Darling and Vada Hadley feel more modern than 1940s; for someone that comes from a wealthy family that's constantly judged by appearances, Vada doesn't really care for her reputation, oddly enough. I'm not saying the character has to be completely neurotic, but more discretion and fear would be nice. Also as well, I wanted to see more of her struggle with living in a small town far from what she knew instead of seeming to fit in the way she did. I also would have wished to get to know more about Reggie and Claire because the relationship is a little too sudden for me.


Life is a journey


The story is written in both first and third person narrative: first person from Vada and third person from other characters including Frank, Claire and towards the end, Reggie. The story itself is definitely quirky and Southern, somewhat similar to Joshilyn Jackson's book, but far more well done and written. Also as well, although the author did attempt to build up conflict, I didn't really sense it which made it a bit difficult to relate to the characters, and I personally would have wanted more character exploration with Reggie and Frank in particular,  I also would have wanted a bit more struggle that Vada experiences when she moves to a small town away from her privileged life. But still, if you're looking for a light hearted and clean romantic read that takes place in 1947, then this is a book not to missed.

Author Information:
(From author kit)

About the Author

Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
For More Information


There are elements of the book that I liked such as the rich southern historical details, the memorable and quirky secondary characters and how the story itself feels very 1940s. I also liked the wealthy girl poor male dynamic as well and found the romance between Vada and Frank to be sweet. What I didn't like, however, is that the characters feel more modern than 1940s, the handling of Claire's subplot, although I do understand why and so forth, but still, there was something about the conclusion that didn't make me feel comfortable with the pairing. Also, I think I would have wanted more clear incidents where Vada and Frank really fell for one another because I feel I didn't get that in the story.

This is for Pump Up Your Book

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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