A Southern Girl: A Novel

A Southern Girl: A Novel


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Set against the exquisite, historical backdrop of Charleston's insular South of Broad neighborhood, A Southern Girl is a tale of international adoption and of families lost, then found anew through revelations, courage, and the perseverance of a love without bounds. With two biological sons and a promising career, Coleman Carter seems set to fulfill his promise as a resourceful trial lawyer, devoted husband, and dutiful father until his wife, Elizabeth, champions their adoption of a Korean orphan. This seemingly altruistic mission estranges Coleman's conservative parents and demands that he now embrace the unknown as fully as he has always entrenched himself in the familiar.

Elizabeth, a self-proclaimed liberal with a global sense of duty, is eager for the adoption, while Coleman, a scion of the Old South, is at best a reluctant participant. But the arrival of Soo Yun (later called Allie) into the Carter household and the challenging reactions of Coleman's peers and parents awakens in him a broadening sense of responsibility and dedication to his new family that opens his eyes to the subtle racism and exclusionary activities that had dominated his sheltered life. To garner Allie's entrance into Charleston society, Coleman must come to terms with his past and guide Allie toward finding her own origins as the Carters forge a new family identity and confront generations-old fears inherent in Southern traditions of purity and prestige.

Deftly told through the distinctive voices of Allie's birth mother, her orphanage nurse, her adoptive mother Elizabeth, and finally Coleman himself, A Southern Girl brings us deeply into Allie's plights--first for her very survival and then for her sense of identity, belonging, and love in her new and not always welcoming culture. In this truly international tale, John Warley guides us through the enclaves of southern privilege in New Hampton, Virginia, and Charleston, the poverty-stricken back alleys of Seoul, South Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, and the stone sidewalks of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as the bonds between father and daughter become strong enough to confront the trials of their pasts and present alike.

The first release from Pat Conroy's Story River Books, A Southern Girl includes a foreword by New York Times bestselling novelist Therese Ann Fowler.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611173918
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 05/31/2014
Series: Story River Books Series
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

John Warley, a native South Carolinian, is a graduate of the Citadel and the University of Virginia School of Law. He practiced law in Virginia until 1993 when he moved to Mexico to write and teach. Now a full-time writer, Warley divides his time between Beaufort, South Carolina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Therese Anne Fowler is author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"With both skill and passion, John Warley carries the reader through generations and countries. Following plot twists and heart-turns, we become a member of many families, loving and loathing as we do in any real family. A Southern Girl is rich with trustworthy and vulnerable narrators who allow us the privilege of entering the secret traditions and lore-soaked South as well as the clandestine corners of the character's souls. This is a gorgeous, heartfelt book from a masterful storyteller; I didn't want to miss a word of Warley's whispered secrets."--Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of And Then I Found You, Coming Up for Air, and others

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A Southern Girl: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Southern Girl has everything to love in a book: passion, intrigue, beautiful settings, and characters you would like to have a drink with as well as ones into whose face you would like to toss that drink. John Warley makes the reader feel like a member of the club as he exposes prejudice and intolerance from the inside of Southern gentry. From tree-lined boulevards and luxurious homes in South Carolina and verdant gardens of colonial Mexico, to a modern city in South Korea and haunting country-side tunnels in Vietnam, tears of happiness, indignation, sadness, and triumph surface as the story of this Southern girl and her family unfolds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Beach Read - I took this book with me to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina and finished it in two days. It might have made me a little anti-social but the story was so engaging and the book was so well-written that it was worth it. For those who have lived in the South, you will recognize many of the characters and attitudes. If you have not had the pleasure of spending time in the South, this books serves as a unique introduction. I hoghly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dbps83 More than 1 year ago
"A Southern Girl" lacks an important part - the girl. This story of the adoption of a Korea girl into a family with deep ties to the deep South doesn't deliver any punch. The first part, in Korea and the US, is interesting, but then the author skips the girl's childhood altogether. Suddenly, she's 17 and the most important thing is to get her into a ball that won't event allow children of divorce. Semi-autobiographical, the story turns completely to the father and the author misses a chance to show how prejudice can be overcome. Apparently, it cannot. Lots of description of Charleston in here, but little substance.