Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Right Thing by Amy Conner

Title : The Right Thing
Author : Amy Conner
Series : N/A, Standalone
Genre : Women's Fiction, Chick Lit, Southern Fiction
Number of Pages : 288
Publication Date : Jan 1, 2014
Publisher : Kensington

Rating :

I received this book as a free copy from NetGalley. These books are given to me as review copies to read and evaluate. I am not obligated to write a review for any of the books I receive, but it is an encouraged practice. I choose which books I review on my blog and on my Goodreads profile. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews. My reviews are always honest...I never lie about books. My opinions are my own and may be positive or negative depending on my feelings about a specific piece. Keep in mind, just because I may like or not like a book may not mean that you will feel the same way.

On a scorching August day in 1963, seven-year-old Annie Banks meets the girl who will become her best friend. Skinny, outspoken Starr Dukes and her wandering preacher father may not be accepted by polite society in Jackson, Mississippi, but Annie and Starr are too busy sharing secrets and playing elaborate games of Queen for a Day to care. Then, as suddenly as she appeared in Annie's life, Starr disappears.

Annie grows up to follow the path ordained for pretty, well-to-do Jackson women--marrying an ambitious lawyer, filling her days with shopping and charity work. She barely recognizes Starr when they meet twenty-seven years after that first fateful summer, but the bond formed so long ago quickly reemerges. Starr, pregnant by a powerful married man who wants to get her out of town, has nowhere to turn. And Annie, determined not to fail her friend this time, agrees to drive Starr to New Orleans to get money she's owed.

During the eventful road trip that follows, Annie will confront the gap between friendship and responsibility between her safe, ordered existence and the dreams she's grown accustomed to denying. 

- Excerpt from Goodreads blurb

I think I'm just a sucker for a good southern fiction novel. There's something about that passive-aggressive underbelly of polite society that just makes me bite my nails and get taken right into the pages. The Right Thing by Amy Conner was no exception. It reminded me immediately of a mix between The Help and characters from a Sarah Addison Allen novel. 

The story was a good mixture of funny and serious. It didn't feel bogged down, but it wasn't an airhead puff piece either. The writing was good, easy and smooth without being overly common. I will admit that she did use a few cliched metaphors here and there, but I think it's easy to fall into that trap as a writer. I've already used a couple here and I'm not ashamed of it. Mostly, it's just good, descriptive writing and phrasing.

I liked Annie. She was a little bit of a pushover and I hated to see her letting her husband rule her life, relegating her to duties that simply made her the pretty trophy wife, but she grew. She still had some tendencies that made me think less of her as a whole, but she made something out of her situation and really came into her own by the end.

I was not a fan of Starr. I liked her as a child. She was a free-spirit, imaginative and bright, despite her horrible background. The woman she grew into was not one I appreciated. She seemed to have a sense of entitlement that was bigger than herself and she didn't value those trying to help her make good of herself. I was disappointed in her character (as a person, not as a character in the book) and felt that Annie could do much better in the friend department.

The ending moved a little quicker than I thought it should have. That was my major pet peeve with this, as is commonly my issue in books that get rated at 4 stars. There could have been better resolution without shoving everything into the last couple of pages. I felt that it needed a little more time and dedication. But...I will say, The Right Thing by Amy Conner is still a good read.


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