Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen
Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin is a book that blends innocence, determination, friendship and romance into the perfect book. It is set in the 1940’s during a time that women were to be seen but not heard, and there were strict rules concerning a woman’s behavior.
Vada Hadley lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and she is a member of the upper class of society. On the eve of her wedding to Justin McLeod, a wedding arranged by her parents, Vada knows that she cannot go through with the wedding. She does not love Justin and refuses to marry someone she has no romantic feelings for. With the help of her servants, Rosa Lee and her husband Desmond, she runs away. She does not run far but she goes somewhere that she feels no one will think to look for her, Round O, South Carolina. She moves into a boarding house, that has the world’s worst owner, to start her new life.
While staying at the boarding house, Vada makes friends with Claire, a widowed mother of three young children. She also meets Frank Darling, the owner of the local dinner. Frank falls in love instantly with Vada and will do anything to make her happy and make her his. Vada has feelings for Frank, too, and she knows she did the right thing by running away from a loveless marriage. What follows in the book is the courtship of Frank and Vada, the struggle of Claire to make a better life for her children, and the search from someone in Vada’s past, Darby, that she misses and really wants to find.
One of the things I like most about this book is the innocence of Vada. This innocence is portrayed with her feelings for Frank, her friendship with Claire, and her dealings with a Madame who claims to know the whereabouts of Darby. Vada’s sweetness and innocence is very refreshing to read.
I also enjoyed learning more about this period in history. The 1940’s were a different time and the rules of behavior are vastly different than the rules of the present. I think it is fascinating to read about those differences and to think if I would have liked to grown up during this era.
The writing style flows easily and this was a quick, easy read. It is written in the first person point of view. I normally do not like reading books from this perspective but this book was the exception. I cannot imagine it being written in any other way. I really enjoyed reading from Vada’s point of view.
Kim Boykin writes very descriptively and I was drawn into the story even more by her written word. The small town setting, the boarding house, and the diner all came to life for me and I felt I was right there, witnessing things first hand. All the adventures that the Characters encountered were very realistic and plausible.
I think that the characters are realistic and very life-like. I think all the characters grew from the beginning to the end of the book. I feel that Vada’s growth was the most noticeable. She went from a girl who was very much afraid to defy her parents to a woman who knew what she wanted in life and was able to go after it. She grew a backbone during the course of the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a love story, a life story, or a story from a different era. In my opinion, this book was one of the best books I’ve read this year (and I read a lot of books). I was really sad when the book ended, I wanted to spend more time with Vada, Frank, and Claire. I will be looking for more books written by Kim Boykin. Treat yourself to a great book and read Palmetto Moon.