Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh - REVIEWED

“Obviously, Pickwick is a dangerous place for me.”

“Perhaps, but I doubt a bullet could save you from its dangers.” (p. 54)

Piper Pickwick…I mean Piper Wick cannot begin to imagine the journey she sets herself upon when she agrees to return to Pickwick, North Carolina at the request of her uncle’s attorney. Piper’s life as an image consultant in Los Angeles couldn’t possibly be further removed from her southern heritage and social status. However, when Piper finds herself in the arms of a very down-to-earth gardener, she is suddenly very aware of her past and its possible effects upon her future.

Tamara Leigh is the master of creating quirky, unforgettable characters. True to the south and its unyielding death-grip on the past, Tamara’s cast of characters seem to all be carrying their past – primarily their mistakes – around like so many battle scars. The entire Pickwick family is observed beneath the microscope of small-town gossip, and no matter how hard they try, it seems that someone is always around to cast dispersion upon their family name and remind everyone of the mistakes that took place years ago.

In this kind of environment, forgiveness is weeded from the lives of the Pickwick family just as thoroughly as the poison ivy is removed from the beautiful gardens surrounding the family estate. As the story progresses, first one member of the family and then another begins to realize that everyone has made their contribution to the family’s less-than-stellar reputation. One by one they begin to face their past mistakes and seek forgiveness from those they have wronged. Everyone is amazed at the changes that forgiveness and second chances bring about in this small southern town.

Piper Wick and her Uncle Obadiah serve as a sweet reminder to each of us that the future always looks brighter when we no longer allow past wrongs to cast their shadow over our hearts desires, and God is always willing to forgive our mistakes if we will just go to Him in repentance. Axel Smith proves to be a pivotal part of sharing God’s grace and forgiveness with this quirky family, and no life is left unchanged by the end of the story.

Leaving Carolina is a great and quirky addition to Tamara Leigh’s writing, and introduces characters that everyone will identify with – if they’re honest! Visit Multnomah’s website to learn how to purchase your copy today!

Special thanks to Liz Johnson for my review copy of this fun read!

After Tamara Leigh earned a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology, she and her husband decided to start a family, with plans for Tamara to continue in her career once she became a mother.

When the blessing of children proved elusive, Tamara became convicted to find a way to work out of her home in order to raise the children she and her husband longed to have. She turned to writing, at which she had only ever dreamed of being successful, and began attending church. Shortly thereafter, her agent called with news of Bantam Books’ offer of a four-book contract. That same day, Tamara’s pregnancy was confirmed. Within the next year, she gave up her speech pathology career, committed her life to Christ, her first child was born, and her first historical romance novel was released.

As Tamara continued to write for the secular market, publishing three more novels with HarperCollins and Dorchester, she infused her growing Christian beliefs into her writing. But it was not enough, and though her novels earned awards and were national bestsellers, she knew her stories were lacking. After struggling with the certainty that her writing was not honoring God as it should, she made the decision to write books that not only reveal Christianity to non-believers, but serve as an inspiration for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. Her inspirational romances are peopled with characters in varying stages of Christian faith, from mature believers to new believers to non-believers on the threshold of awakening.

Tamara Leigh enjoys time with her family, volunteer work, faux painting, and reading. She lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, David, and two sons, Skyler and Maxen.

1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

THIS was such a fun book!! :-)