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August 16, 2020

Charleston Green by Stephanie Alexander ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"If Tipsy learned one thing from her divorce, it's that everyone in Charleston is at least a little crazy - even if they're already dead."  (loc  24)
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Charleston Green
April 2020; Bublish; 78-1647040505
ebook, print (362 pages); magical realism
  Tipsy, a gifted artist, cannot ignore her nutty friends or her vindictive ex-husband, but as a lifelong reluctant clairvoyant, she's always avoided dead people. When Tipsy and her three children move into the house on Bennett Street, she realizes some ghosts won't be ignored.

Till death do us part didn't pan out for Jane and Henry Mott, who've haunted the house for nearly a century. Tipsy's marriage was downright felicitous when compared to Jane and Henry's ill-fated union. Jane believes Henry killed her and then himself, and Henry vehemently denies both accusations. Unfortunately, neither phantom remembers that afternoon in 1923. Tipsy doesn't know whether to side with Jane, who seems to be hiding something under her southern belle charm, or Henry, a mercurial creative genius. Jane and Henry draw Tipsy into their conundrum, and she uncovers secrets long concealed under layers of good manners, broken promises and soupy Lowcountry air. Living with ghosts, however, takes a toll on her health, and possibly even her sanity. As she struggles to forge a new path for herself and her children, Tipsy has a chance to set Jane and Henry free, and release the ghosts of her own past.

"Some ghosts refused to be ignored."  (loc 25)

My Opinion:  I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book - I love Southern fiction but don't like magical realism and ghosts.  I took a chance and ended up loving it.  The characters (both human and ghost) were well written and fun to read as the main character handled her own life during divorce as well as working on a mystery for the ghost couple who lived in her house.  The story of Tipsy's current struggle with her soon to be ex-husband and her relationship with her kids shows one side of her personality but she also sees and talks to ghosts which it totally different than the rational part of her life.  The ghost couple -Jane and Henry are humorous as they try to ignore each other - as they have been doing for over 100 years.  Neither of them remembers how they died or why they are still stuck in the same house but their love/hate relationship is still apparent for both of them and to Tipsy.  

Charleston Green is a fun novel to read - full of Southern charm, family, love and marriage, and ultimately life and death.  It's got family friction, best friends, a little romance, and a lot of magic.  What more does a good book need?

Buy Charleston Green at Amazon

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

I got the idea for Charleston Green while driving over the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, and thinking about divorce, and how it would be awful if we didn't have the option to remove ourselves from toxic relationships. This thought spawned the idea of a married couple stuck haunting a house together for all eternity.

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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