by Joanna Trollope

July 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19350-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Gillon Stokes is still not "settled" even though she is almost thirty and well educated. Even though she was raised in a wealthy Charleston family, just as her mother and grandmother before her, she somehow feels she does not fit in with the conventions and traditions of her Southern home place. She has never married and has drifted from one temp job to the next. She jumps at a chance to take a job in London.

Once in London, she fits right in with a new roommate, Tilly, and Tilly's photographer boyfriend, Henry. Henry and Tilly have been together almost eight years, but the issue of marriage is a thorny one given their respective family histories. Gillon's stay in London is relatively short when she decides to go home for the birth of her sister's baby. Henry surprises everyone by accepting Gillon's casual invitation to follow her home to South Carolina. Henry finds a whole new world for his photography in South Carolina. He falls in love with the lowlands, the South and Gillon's extended family.

Ms. Trollope does not go for the typical lush descriptions of the South or stereotypical view of London. The reader gets more of a sense of place through the characters. Character development is done mainly through finely crafted dialog. Relationships are explored in depth. The reader not only gets a glimpse into the characters' lives, but there is food for thought on what we all need or desire to make us content with our lives.

Ms Trollope is English, but has captured the flavor of the South. The emotions she explores are universal. Girl From The South is sure to please fans of her previous novels and all readers who appreciate contemporary character driven fiction.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Roberta.

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