Tuesday, October 13, 2015

On Tour: A Peach of a Pair by Kim Boykin and an Excerpt

A Peach of a Pair

A Peach of a Pair by Kim Boykin
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Berkley Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction

"Palmetto Moon" inspired "The Huffington Post" to rave, It is always nice to discover a new talented author and Kim Boykin is quite a find. Now, she delivers a novel of a woman picking up the pieces of her life with the help of two spirited, elderly sisters in South Carolina. 

April, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, but as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family and her childhood sweetheart, Brooks, in Alabama. But just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mama telling her that Brooks is getting married . . . to her own sister. 

Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, but their sisterhood has weathered many storms. And as Nettie learns more about their lives on a trip to see a faith healer halfway across the country, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home.

For More Information
My thoughts about A Peach of a Pair ~~ 

A Peach of a Pair is another heartwarming southern fiction story with wonderful characters that I fell in love with. I loved spending time with all of them and I loved my trip to South Carolina.

Nettie is away at school when she get some devastating news from home, her sweetheart is marrying her sister. She is humiliated and can't face anyone at school and decides to leave right before graduation. She is hired to take care of an elderly woman who is dying. This job provides just want she needs; a new town, a new life, and a place where she can get away from her family, most of all her ex-boyfriend and her sister, the two people who have betrayed her.  
'... the next man in my life, if there ever was one, would be everything Remmy Wilkes and Brooks Carver were not, and above all, he would be faithful. Even if that meant he was unfortunate looking and as dumb as a sack of hammers.'
The job she gets taking care of a pair of old women is not going to be an easy task. Emily has not accepted the fact that her sister, Lurleen is dying and she does not make things easy for Nettie. Nettie has nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to so she has vowed to stick it out and tries to make the best of the situation. She is not going to let Emily run her off.
'Yes, but what she doesn't know is that it makes me even more determined to do my job, because Miss Lurleen is a dear. Or maybe she isn't but in comparison to her evil sister she seems to be.' 
Then there is the town doctor, the one who lined up this job for Nettie. He is ready to abandon his practice here in this small town to follow his dream but he is drawn to Nettie. She works very hard to protect her heart and will not let it get broken again.
'Because, after confiding in him, kissing him, and having him reignite feelings I was sure were forever dead, I knew I could never survive being hurt by him.' 
The sisters decide to take a trip to visit a faith healer. This trip could just as easy take the life of Lurleen as it could heal her. The sisters, along with Nettie, discover so much about themselves and life, as well as the importance of sisterhood, as they travel cross county. Their journey was wonderful to experience right along with them as they leaned on each other to get the healing that they each needed.
'... when you're done running, come back to me.'
And I love that Lurleen was a librarian. The following passage pretty well sums up how we librarians feel about what we do.
'Over a year ago, after she got sick, if you'd asked Lurleen where her last outing would have been, she would have said the library. Just to walk in and smell the books, walk along the shelves running her fingers across the spines of classics that stole her heart, a good mystery or a romance that took her breathe away. To take a young child who swears they hate to read to the stacks and find that one book that unlocks their heart and makes them fall in love with reading.'

Dear Nettie, 
It might seem cruel to send this letter along with a proper invitation, but I couldn’t bring myself to call you, and I wasn’t given much notice regarding this matter. I also know you well enough to know you would have to see the invitation to truly believe it. Although I do regret not having enough time to have them engraved.
I’m sorry to be the one to give you the news about Brooks and Sissy. I love you, Nettie, and I love your sister. I’m not condoning her behavior or the fact that she is in the family way, but you are blood. You are sisters. No man can break that bond, not even Brooks. 
There’s money and a bus ticket paper-clipped to the invitation. I’ve checked the schedules. You should be able to leave Columbia on Thursday the week of the wedding after your morning classes and get back by Sunday night. I know how you hate to miss class, and if you are also missing some wonderful end-of-the-year party, I’m sorry. So very sorry. 
But the milk has been spilled, Nettie. Come home and stand up with your sister. She needs you. She’s a wreck, and it makes me worry about the baby.
Just come home. 
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 A Peach of a Pair, Palmetto Moon and The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley/NAL/Penguin; Flirting with Forever, She’s the One, Just in Time for Christmas, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule. 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.

Her latest book is the southern women’s fiction, A Peach of a Pair.

Connect with Kim

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  1. Officially added to my reading list. Great review. :)



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