I’m just going to come right out and say it, Savannah Breeze did not live up to my expectations. Granted, I set the bar very high as the first book in this series Savannah Blues was the best book I have read in the past 3 months, but still I was disappointed.
Here is the summary from her web-site:
In this eagerly awaited sequel to Savannah Blues, Southern belle BeBe Loudermilk loses all her worldly possessions thanks to a brief but disastrous relationship with the gorgeous Reddy, an “investment counselor” who turns out to be a con man. All that’s left is a ramshackle 1950s motor court on Tybee Island-an eccentric beach town that calls itself a drinking village with a fishing problem.
Breeze Inn is a place where the very classy BeBe wouldn’t normally be caught dead but, with no alternative, she moves into the manager’s unit, vowing to make magic out of mud. The work is grueling, especially dealing with the cantankerous caretaker, a fishing captain named Harry who’s trying to earn enough dough to get his boat out of hock. With the help of Harry and BeBe’s junking friend Weezie, she soon has the motel spiffed up and attracting paying guests.
Then there’s a sighting of Reddy in Fort Lauderdale, and BeBe decides to go after him. She puts together a posse, and with the irrepressible Granddaddy Loudermilk snoring in the backseat of the Buick, heads south. The plan is to carry out a sting that may be just a little bit outside the law but that, with any luck at all, will retrieve BeBe’s fortune and put the dastardly Reddy in jail where he belongs. And maybe Harry, who’s looking more hunky every day, will finally get his boat back.
I loved BeBe Loudermilk in the first book, and I continued to appreciate her choice expressions, southern style, and her strength and determination to succeed. She was hilarious as Weezie’s best friend and was my favorite secondary character in Savannah Blues, but the more I found out about her, the less I liked her as the protagonist.
More thoughts after the jump…
I totally understand there are different methods to communicating a character’s history, but the stories behind why BeBe has been divorced 3 times (twice to the same man) were not fleshed out enough for me, and although we were given some pretty clear details as to why these guys were not right for BeBe, her reasons for ending it with them didn’t seem good enough for me.
Also, similar to the first book, I didn’t really connect with the 1st person narrative. It switched back and forth between BeBe’s and Weezie’s 1st person point of view from chapter to chapter, more often it was BeBe. The unreliable narrator I recalled learning about in English class definitely applied in this case. I mean the book was 75% over before BeBe finally realized she is attracted to Harry, and we never had any idea of his feelings for her. I honestly started to think there was not even going to be a romantic element in the whole book because BeBe was so oblivious and since it was from her point of view we never had any hints – I was about ready to give up on her.
The other “unreliable narrator” point struck home after Bebe & Co. completed their sting on the dastardly Reddy they are about to get the hell outta Dodge when the decide they have to go back to the scene of the crime to find out what happens!!! Um, HELLO you just broke the law and the only way to get the full scoop is to return to the docks where you were wearing disguises, using fake names, will run into the guy you just conned, and the people you were impersonating? I mean they totally just could have watched the goddam news to find out, obvi this is a pretty big story, you’ll hear about it some other way. I just felt it was forced to make the characters go back there so we the reader could find out the details from their first person point of view. It made me really nervous in a bad way that they were finally going to get caught.
One common theme I did LOVE, was the continued references to John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. Growing up I couldn’t walk to the bookstore or library and often roamed our house looking for new reads on my parents’ shelves when my own supply of Young Adult books ran out, I mean I could only reread Black Beauty and Harriet the Spy so many times, I needed new material. I think I read my first Travis McGee story when I was 12 or 13 and as soon as BeBe picked up one of Harry’s copies and mentioned the Bahia Mar Marina or the Busted Flush houseboat my heart constricted in my chest with happy memories of discussing these mysteries with my Dad on the back porch of our house.
And lastly, I think the main reason I had to read this book so quickly was really to find out more about Weezie and Daniel’s relationship, and even though several chapters were told from Weezie’s POV, I still want more! Upon further research I found out about Blue Christmas which further focuses upon their relationship, and added it to my Friday Finds last week and I’m #2 on the waiting list at my library.
Sigh, wow, I just read what I wrote so far and it sounds like I didn’t like the book…I did! And I want to read all of Mary Kay Andrew’s backlist, so I would definitely recommend any of her books, but I just liked Savannah Bluesso much better that I feel like maybe I just didn’t give BeBe a good chance to compete. Honestly, overall it was a good book, average for me, so a B- grade.