I do love to read Southern Fiction. Sher Foxworth of Larkspur, Mississippi is a young man who has lost his parents to tragedy and lost his way in life. This begins the downward spiral of the family and of Sher's life. Cordell Pixler, the lawyer who played a role in the destruction of the Foxworth family, wants to build the most impressive home in Larkspur for his trophy wife.
I think the biggest problem is that out of 12 hours of audio the first 6 hours of building the eventual connection between characters that bring us to the point of the story, the one you think you are getting when you read the blurb. Fred Wolinsky did an okay job with the narration, I did not enjoy the southern accent at all and felt it detracted from the story, but would be willing to try something else by him.
What does Fred Wolinsky bring to the story that you wouldnt experience if you just read the book? Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
The first half of the book meanders through Shers early years and his family, his constant lack of attention in school, and his relationship with his grandfather. We know that Shers parents are out of the picture, but its not until much later in the story that we find out why. As an example of the repetitiveness, I will point to a scene where Sher and his girlfriend get pulled over for supposed reckless driving. It takes 20 minutes to get through this scene where Sher goes over again and again, verbally with the cop and in his own head, all the reasons he shouldnt be ticketed. If you read that blurb, then you know that eventually Sher joins a fire department. Later on, after surgery, the patient claims she didnt know she was getting a butt lift. Since the fire department stuff and arson mystery are part of the books description, I feel I can talk about them (even though some might feel they are spoilers since that all happens near the end of the book). Later, when Shers parents are no longer in the scene, his bond with his grandfather grows, even as he struggles with college. I found these scenes concerning Shers family to be some of the best written in the book.
Rachel Pixler wanted a brand new house... When Flowers Ridley's mother Charity decided Flowers needed "adjustments" to bring her inner beauty to the surface she went to the best plastic surgeon around, Sheridan Smith Foxworth, Jr. And when her daughter later died from blood clots she again went to the best plantiff's lawyer who was Pixler. Unknown to Charity, her decision to sue Foxworth would end up causing a snowball effect destroying many. Hobby Dencil is one of the best architects around and will become involved in the "Pixler Snowball" as he designs the perfect house for Rachel. Just days before construction is to start Rachel makes a few changes of her own to the plans causing Hobby to start from scratch with his drawing with the ending being a structure he really didn't want his own name associated with.
The mid-section and the narration were really the better parts of the story. From here and up to the time of Simmons getting caught in the shed by the female officer after the fire started, I was anticipating a rather exceptional finish, but then the author just "fell asleep at the wheel." With all the tediously detailed events in the beginning that had me wondering whether or not to continue, and the interesting mid to near finish of the story that kept me listening and waiting for the big finale, to dump the ending in that way was rather sad.
The author does a great job of developing conflicts of class, greed, jealousy, pride, ect, and the story seems to build toward a "Shawshank Redemption" type end where most of the characters get what they deserve. I'm looking forward to meeting the author at my book club's meeting tomorrow, but hope he doesn't read this review before then!
The audio book was well laid out and the attempt of the narrator to do female voices was hilarious and broke up the darkness of the story, making it a more enjoyable read.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book.
A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist practicing at Jackson (MS) Healthcare for Women, Darden North is Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association.