Learning to Speak Southern by Lindsey Rogers Cook (Review by Lara Ferguson)

1 min read

Rating: 4/5 ⭐

All Lex has ever really wanted to do was get out of Memphis. Away from her parents, away from the disappointment of her life, away from everything. So, after her mother dies, just before she graduates from college, she runs away, without saying goodbye to anyone, toward a life where she doesn’t have to be closely connected to anyone. This works well for her until, after five years of being gone, she hits a wall. A crisis that requires her family.

At the direction of her godmother, Cami, Lex returns to Memphis, determined not to stay. Lured by the desire to read the pages of her dead mother’s journal that she didn’t know existed, Lex discovers stories of her mother of which she was unaware as she is also forced to explore relationships that she walked away from years ago. The twists and turns of her circumstances force her to confront these relationships that she walked away from, with surprising results. As Lex reads the pages of her mother’s journal, she finds that her mother was not who she thought she was.

From the novel’s opening phrases, Lindsey Rogers Cook uses her prose to explore and examine the importance and resilience of families, both those with which we are born and those we have chosen. Her characters are people the reader may know or be, and the situations that they find themselves in are both realistic and compelling. When combined, they allow her to craft a compelling tale that delivers surprises to the very end.

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