The Sweet Taste of Muscadines

Ballantine. Mar. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593158456. $27. F
DEBUT Lila Bruce Breedlove’s tranquil life in Maine is upended when she learns of the death of her elderly, domineering mother, Geneva. She embarks reluctantly on a return trip to Wesleyan, GA, the small town where she grew up. When she arrives, Lila reunites with the brother she is close to, Henry, and the sister with whom she is not close, Abigail. Lila and Henry had left their small town behind, but Abigail stayed in Wesleyan, taking care of Geneva. Proving to be as chaotic and uncomfortable as expected, Lila’s visit goes completely off the rails when, due to the mysterious circumstances of Geneva’s death, her mother’s lifelong secret is discovered. This leads Lila and Henry on a bittersweet journey to the Scottish Highlands to lift the final veil of the deception they have been living under the majority of their lives.
VERDICT Filled with vivid landscape descriptions, Southern charm, and heartfelt familial connections, this novel is sure to please readers, especially fans of Southern women’s fiction and family dramas like the works of Mary Kay Andrews and Kristin Hannah.
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