Learning to Speak Southern by Lindsey Rogers Cook
.ePUB, 237 pages
Expected Publication: June 1st 2021 by Sourcebooks Landmark
About the Book:
Lex fled Memphis years ago, making ends meet with odd jobs teaching English around the world. She only returns when she has no choice, when her godmother presents her with a bargain she can't refuse. Lex has never understood her mother, who died tragically right before Lex's college graduation, but now she's got a chance to read her journals, to try and figure out what sent her mother spiraling all those years ago. The Memphis that Lex inhabits is more bourbon and bbq joint than sweet tea on front porches, and as she pieces together the Memphis her mother knew, seeing the lure of the world through her mother's lush writing, she must confront more of her own past and the people she left behind. Once all is laid bare, Lex must decide for herself: What is the true meaning of family?
I really enjoyed reading this book, the linguistics parts alone had me enthralled. Like our protagonist, Lex, I love language and words. It was so beautiful to read about word origins and meanings in the different languages, I loved learning about them.
What first drew me to this story was the word southern in the title. I am a lover of southern fiction and this book did not disappoint. I liked the format of Lex reading about her mother with a different letter/journal entry every day. I love epistolary novels and these letters were my favourite part of the book. Margaret’s story transported me back in time to another place. I love when books do that. I also appreciated Margaret’s friendship with Cami and how Cami looks after Lex like she is her own. Strong, southern women looking out for each other.
Lindsey Rogers Cook is a master at developing characters that crawl into your heart and stay. When you get to the end of this book, you really miss these charismatic, quite real people. Ms. Rogers Cook is a gifted writer who knows how to weave in twists and turns that keep the reader captivated to the last page. I highly recommend this clever tale of Lex and her mother and the circumstances that brought about their tenuous relationship.
Thank you NetGalley, Lindsey Rogers Cook and Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.