My most recent read is Margarat Bradham Thornton’s debut novel, Charleston.
Charleston is set in the 1990s amongst Charleston, South Carolina’s elite upper-class members, and it reads like it.
This book is very cerebral and at times, well through most of the book, I wasn’t entirely sure what the actual plot was. Eliza, the protagonist, runs into her former flame, Henry, at a wedding in England. Eliza’s been living there for a while and is in a relationship, but when she sees Henry, the old feelings come rushing back.
They continue to rush through her when she returns to Charleston. Spoiler: she and Henry get back together, she leaves her English beau and moves back to Charleston.
Things aren’t the same but they move into an adult relationship.
Secondary to all this, Eliza is trying to figure out if a painting is really by an artist and embarks on several other projects concerning Charlestonian art.
I didn’t really enjoy this book, if I’m really being honest about how I felt. It felt like Thornton was split about what type of book she wanted to write, so she decided to try and put two together. The problem: it didn’t work that well.
The ending to the story also felt rushed and tacked on in a hurry. It was like she couldn’t figure out how to end the book, decided what she chose would work and tied everything up in a hurry to meet her publisher’s deadline.
Maybe that means I’m too simple-minded to realistically enjoy the book, but I only gave the book a 2-star review on Goodreads. I just didn’t get it.
Thornton’s writing style showed promise, but I’m not sure that the premise she tried in Charleston will work in other works.