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My Summer of Southern Discomfort: A Novel
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My Summer of Southern Discomfort: A Novel

2.86 of 5 stars 2.86  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  79 reviews

Today is Monday. The calls do not come as before. Weeks elapse between them, and when I answer the phone there is no overlap of voices, only my mother's. She spends much of the conversation avoiding mention of the pink elephant trumpeting in the middle of the room.

The pink elephant would be my defection to Georgia. When I telephoned with the news of my imminent reloca

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Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 679)
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Susan
What an strange little book. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop--for some kind of action to start--but it never did. It is just the musings of a displaced Yankee trying to adjust to life in the South. It was oddly calming.

I did appreciated how the author managed to hit on some of the Southern traits that are weird to outsiders without making them seem cartoonish or over-the-top. Very understated, a nice break from the wacky characters and outlandish situations in the string of Southern bo
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Amy
I have mixed feelings about this book. At first I didn't like it, but I have to say that it slowly got better as the book went along. I do feel like that I've read the middle of a story...I feel like I'd like to read the beginning and the end with a little less patronizing of the southern culture.
Joanne
A nice little book that was badly covered and marketed. Much more a coming-of-age and fish-out-of-water story than the chick-lis you would expect from the cover. SLow-moving and internally focused.
Mum
I enjoyed the story once the author stopped trying to be cute. Her "voice" was inconsistent, but generally good. The story did pick up about halfway through.
Donna Muravez
I did not expect much out of this book other than it would be a light, fun, easy read. It was an easy read, but unfortunately the story never took off. There was so much potential for the story: Yankee lawyer goes to the South, romance gone bad, capital murder case.... But most of the story takes place in Natalie's head (how she brushes her teeth, how she scorches her coffee - who does that? - , how raccoons invade her trashcans, how she was wronged by her married lover (we never get the details ...more
Nikkimc
Just couldn't get into the story. I liked the cover art better than the book.
Lisa Murray
potential to be quite good but minimal substance.
Gaia
Sep 22, 2010 Gaia rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non
Shelves: chick-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deon Stonehouse
My Summer of Southern Discomfort by Stephanie Gayle follows a New York lawyer’s uncomfortable move to a small southern town. Natalie intended all her life to follow in the footsteps of her father, a famous civil right’s lawyer. She wants to fight the good fight for justice. Natalie was on track to reach all her dreams, hiring on with a prestigious New York law firm after graduating from Harvard. She did not plan on having an affair with a married partner in the firm, falling in love, or taking t ...more
Kendra
This is basically chick lit that shows some depth here and there by tackling topics like capital punishment. After an affair that turned bad, the main character, Natalie Goldberg, trades in corporate law in NYC for the district attorney's office in Macon, Georgia. Predictably, Natalie learns some lessons about herself and her life through the people she meets in her new town. I actually did enjoy the book, although I would have enjoyed it considerably more if I was on summer vacation and sipping ...more
Cindy
My background in criminal justice and specifically capital punishment made for an especially fascinating read for me. There were some awkward moments in the book but I felt that added some depth to the character. I'll be seeking out more by this author to see if she continues to touch on this subject.
Ruth
Cover has a chick on it and some pink but I liked the title and checked it out. I'm probably a little beyond half way and the story isn't in focus yet - unless it's supposed to be as general and meandering as the title suggests … a young lawyer, daughter of a famous defense attorney, moves from the North to Macon, GA to be a prosecutor. The story tells of her past and present, various coworkers, numerous court cases - I think maybe my problem with the book is a great deal of the story is in her ...more
skatoulaki
I read this several years ago because I knew the author when we were kids (she's a few years younger than me; her older brother is my age). It's not my usual genre, but it was well-written and I was impressed with the style and character development.
Jessica Renard
I believe the title is a misnomer, due to the book chronicling over a year and not just a summer. I found it to be well written, and a relatable account of how mistakes made can turn into the best things for you.
Sharon
This was a good book that didn't try too hard to be southern lit. It blended some of the little things that make the south, not NYC (main character moves from NYC to Macon, Ga because she screwed up and fell for a married man at her law practice). It is humorous because it also does a very good job at looking at the uniqueness of "southerness" from a northeasterners eyes. Though admittedly it may have been a little funnier to me because I have heard some of these same comments from my NJ husband ...more
Rachel Gioia
I would actually give this more like 2.5 stars, but without the half, I would opt closer to 2 than to 3. Sorry :/. This book didn't really have much substance, unfortunately. The story about the lawyer daughter of a high-profile civil rights lawyer who moves down to Georgia because of a work-place romance gone South (no pun intended) and gets placed on a big murder trial at her new job, much to the chagrin of her father. This book didn't seem to go anywhere, and the most exciting part was the tr ...more
Miriam
i feel as if I have read this book several times before -- just in a different setting. nothing new; nothing suspenseful; quite predictable.
Faye
Natalie Goldberg is a graduate of Harvard Law School. She worked in a high powered law firm in New York City. She has an office romance with a married man in her office and he black lists her. Natalie left New York for a job in the DA's office in Macon, Georgia. She is an outside in Macon, but eventually earns the respect of her coworkers. She develops friendships in the community. Finally, she decides to buy a house and stay in Macon. The change in attitude is slow in coming, but is a happy cho ...more
Amber May
I kept waiting for more to happen. It never did. But it was a nice little read.
Angela
I expecting this to be a light and funny read, not exactly. It was different and interesting but nothing romantic or particularly funny about it. I felt like the author could have written the book twice as long and given twice the depth and detail and really made this story so much more than what it is as it is written. Not bad, it did hold my attention and I would read another book this author. I do hope her next book goes deeper in details and emotions and really reveals the talent that I thin ...more
Debra
A love affair gone bad sent Natalie from NYC and corporate law to Macon Georgia and the public prosecutor's office. This slim volume follows her as she makes the transition and deals with the sometimes grim realities of her new job.

As another reviewer said, it would have been nice to have skewered the NYC ex, but then, life doesn't tend to be like that. The dangling ends lend verisimilitude to this charming story.

I will be watching for more of her books.
JoAnn/QuAppelle
This book had a half-decent story but the writing was pretty awkward. There was one chapter, when she went to a public garden, that was totally out of place. The chapter had no significance or relativity to the rest of the book. There were just a lot of places where something had to be re-read because of the poor way the sentences were constructed. Just an odd book.
Julie
This book was a "grab it quick" selection because I was trying to corral Natalie at the library. The title was interesting to me. Besides that, the main character is named Natalie and has curly hair! But unfortunately, even with those tremendous selling points, the book was just OK. Some parts of the story line seemed promising but weren't developed.
MB
Jun 22, 2011 MB rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Corporettes
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2011
Based on the cover art, I thought this would be chick lit. It wasn't, at least not much--i.e. no shopping, manolos, one-night-stands, and the bar-hopping was minimal--as was the romance. The Sex & the City quotient was low. The protagonist was normal and driven. It was more of a quiet courtroom drama/coming of age. I enjoyed it.
Vickie T
Natalie Goldberg, daughter of a liberal ACLU type lawyer, moves to Macon, Georgia to work in the prosecutor's office after an affair with a married man at her job in New York. A slight story without much action but the woman who read the book was very engaging and I listened to the whole thing. I doubt that I would have read the book.
Mary Frugoli
I picked this book up off the sale shelf, because I was drawn to the storyline of a woman from Cambridge who had been working in NY moving to Georgia. It was a good beach read, not really anything deeper than that, although by the time it ended I was hoping for another book about Natalie, to see what the future would hold.
Bebe Parsons
Jun 25, 2008 Bebe Parsons rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bebe by: Costco shelf
Good summer read, but I will say it didn't satisfy my romance need the way chic lit typically does. The heroine is interesting, however, and her conflict (she is a liberal involved in prosecuting a death penalty trial) is unique. The title has little significance (it does take place in Georgia).
Lea
I really enjoyed this story of Natalie leaving (running away from) the big city of New York and her plans to small town Georgia. I enjoyed her journey of discovering herself and what she wanted. It was an easy read that passed quickly and made me want to keep reading to see what happened.
Krystal
The plot of the book was okay. Nothing was ever explored really, it was like reading a very bad journal, where things are listed, but nothing delved into. I seriously didn't get the point.
I gave it two stars because I finshed it, and what little character development there was, I liked.
Cyndee
The author is very good at creating emotional atmosphere. In the beginning of the book, the main character is running away to the South from a bad job and bad affair in NYC. It was very interesting to see the transformation of the character as she became part of her new community.
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