Twice In a Lifetime by Marta Perry on Powell's.
Twice in a Lifetime weaves together history, inspiration, love, mystery, southern family, possibilities…
I picked up Twice in a Lifetime because of the wonderful painting on the cover, and then noticed its setting in South Carolina and in a beach community. I knew I'd enjoy the scenery even if the story didn't move me, but as it turned out, I loved the characters and their individual stories. There's the beachfront house on one of Charleston's barrier islands, Georgia Lee's employment in Atlanta, Georgia, a tenderly close grandmother and granddaughter, and my own imaginings that life in the American South still is quieter and simpler than elsewhere. The characters attend church and participate in vacation bible school, but Twice in a Lifetime isn't majorly in-your-face religious—it's simply simple Christianity as an integral part of everyday life. The romance that easily happened between Georgia Lee and single dad Matt (who without a doubt was far from the on-the-take northern lawyer family and reader both imagined him to be at first glance) had just enough suspense to be intriguing.
Marta Perry's prose is clean and well-edited. Although this is first in a series about the Bodine family, I'm happy to consider it a standalone narrative, as I'm not sure I want to be disappointed if the Bodine family future doesn't turn out as I'd like it to. In short? The degree of southernness totally was to my liking, and Twice in a Lifetime definitely merits a future re-reading.
my amazon review: southern, likable, and re-readable