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Leaving Carolina (Southern Discomfort #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  763 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She's even engaged to be engaged to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper's hard-won happiness is threatened by a r
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Multnomah Books (first published 2009)
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Mary Wagner
Jul 06, 2010 Mary Wagner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Any and all books that have a Christian side to them should be clearly labeled as such so that I will not unknowingly pick it up to read.

And if it is going to have a Christian theme, at least make the characters really Christian. But preferably drop the whole thing, so that it is less preachy and inconsistent.
Nov 01, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, christian
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher. "Leaving Carolina" is a humorous Christian romance novel. The pacing was excellent, and I enjoyed the story so much that I didn't want to put the book down. The world-building was also excellent with details about the place and people's jobs bringing the world alive in my imagination.

The characters' relationships with each other were realistic and something I think many readers could relate to as was the core situation/problems of the boo
Oct 11, 2009 Mary rated it liked it
Piper Pickwick tries to live a good and honest life but, like most of us, she has things she needs to work on. When she is called back to her hometown she gets the opportunity and time to work on correcting past wrongs. It took me several pages to get into the rhythm of Leaving Carolina but once I did, the pace picked up and I quickly finished reading the book.

Two of my favorite characters in the book help Piper realize that life can be good when you face your past instead of run from it. Those
Just - The romance reader
May 01, 2009 Just - The romance reader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: at-library
A heart-warming story about a southern girl with a troubled past, who long ago fled her hometown for the west coast in hopes of a fresh start. Now, more than a decade later Piper Pickwick is called back to her hometown, and to her family in Pickwick, North Carolina. Upon her return Piper quickly finds out that she's not the only person who has changed, and that no matter how far she ran, she's still a Pickwick and she's still a southern girl.

The story conveys a wonderful message, and the charact
Sandra Stiles
Mar 28, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, adult

What is forgiveness? If someone has hurt you and you say you forgive them and then go to great lengths to avoid them, have you truly forgiven them?

Piper Wicks is faced with this very dilemma. It has been twelve years since she and her mother left Pickwick and all of their backstabbing relatives behind. They never treated her or her mother as if they were really a part of the family. She seems to live by the scripture found in Luke 9:5, "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet
Well written sweet romance with Christian outlook

I really enjoyed this sweet and amusing tale about a girl, Piper, from a small southern town. She is born into the town's most prominent family, who unfortunately are also well known for their scandalous behaviors. Piper's mom who is considered to be from the wrong side of the tracks marries in a shotgun wedding to a Pickwick heir. Piper and her mom remain outcasts in the family and therefore the town, and gladly leaving all behind to move to LA w
Oct 07, 2009 Wrighty rated it liked it
Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler. Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, ...more
Nov 04, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
Wow! If there is a writer who truly grasps a character and brings that character to life, it is Tamara Leigh. Each page brought me closer and closer to Piper Wick (formerly Pickwick). I was transfixed by the story unfolding when Piper would relive moments in her past. Each memory was achingly realistic and clearly represented with Leigh's writing. Reading Leaving Carolina was close to watching a film in my mind.

Piper has worked long and hard to get past her roots in the Southern town of Pickwick
Jul 10, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it
Piper Pickwick, I mean Wick, left North Carolina with her mom a long time ago to forget the embarrassing secrets and teasing of the people of the small town of Pickwick. She is now engaged to be engaged to a Congressman in L.A. and is enjoying her job as a PR specialist.

Soon her past comes back at her when she decides to head back to NC to help convince her Uncle Obe not to reveal all the family secrets in his will. Once she is back in Pickwick she is dealing with all the hurt from her past, the
Nov 04, 2009 Janna rated it really liked it
Tamara Leigh is just simply one of my favorite authors. One of a few select authors where if they write a book I want to read it - period. The only issue is that I loved her last book, "Faking Grace" SO much that it is going to take a lot to improve on that book in my opinion.

Enter "Leaving Carolina" and its heroine Piper Pickwick, oops, I mean Piper Wick. When she left home she left behind as much as she possibly could including her full last name. Home was a place that carried some awful, horr
Oct 27, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it
Piper Wick (Pickwick) has escaped her hometown of Pickwick North Carolina, for the big city. Living in LA and being a partner in a PR firm, she is on her way up. Romance may even be blossoming in her life, with one of her clients, a US Senator.

Then Pickwick calls, her uncle is ill, and is thinking of changing his will to right all the wrongs the Pickwick family has done through out the years. All of this is a wonderful idea, even the Christian thing to do, but it could mean big trouble for Piper
Oct 27, 2009 Carly rated it it was amazing
Leaving Carolina is good Christian fiction. This book will appeal to many different reading tastes. It has good southern flavor, which I love. It has a big dose of humor, which I love. It has a touch of romance, which I love. But, what it really had that I was able to relate to on a personal level, is a lesson in facing a past that maybe I don’t like to face.

Piper is a woman whose past haunts her everyday and she has tried to bury and keep it buried for many years. When she must return home to P
Margaret Chind
Apr 30, 2009 Margaret Chind rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: Liz Johnson

*sigh of contentment* I do enjoy a good book by Tamara Leigh, she's quite the down to earth entertainer. Now after reading this story of Piper Pickwick in "Leaving Carolina", I really want to go back to my TBR shelf and find "Faking Grace", because I'm pretty sure I have a copy out there. Hmm... This book is full of family secrets, but so much more than that, it is a story of acknowledging and owning up to mistakes and sins and moving appropriately beyond them with forgiveness and admittance. Ea
Christy Lockstein
Apr 04, 2009 Christy Lockstein rated it really liked it

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh is funny novel about returning to your roots and paying the piper. Piper Wick abandoned her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina and the first syllable of her last name at the same time twelve years ago, shaking the dust of the town from her feet. Working as an image consultant with the rich and famous of Hollywood, she's almost engaged to a conservative politician when she receives a phone call from home about her Uncle Obadiah's will. Uncle Obe wants to make re
Apr 02, 2011 Christy rated it it was amazing
I have lived in the South my entire life, with most of it spent in Tennessee, and just couldn't imagine livin' anywhere else. Also, I absolutely love reading books that are set in the South, especially when a writer gets it right. Tamara Leigh is just flat out a great writer anyway, and Leaving Carolina is a great start to what I'm sure will be a fabulous Southern series of books.

Growing up with a last name like Pickwick is about as Southern as it gets...we actually have a Pickwick of our own in
Piper Wick, image consultant from Los Angeles returns to her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina to do damage control when her Uncle Obadiah Pickwick wants to change his will to right all the family wrongs done over the years. Piper plans to get in and get out after changing her Uncle's mind about revealing all of the families ugly secrets, including hers and shaking the dust off her feet.

She finds Pickwick, N.C. a very different town and some of her relatives have changed too. Obadiah Alex Smi
May 11, 2011 Kathleen rated it liked it
This is a lighthearted inspirational romance novel that will remind the reader of the movie Sweet Home Alabama, it will have you laughing as you read it. It's a story about a small town girl (who happens to live in a town named after her family), who leaves the small town and it's family secrets behind to start over in the big city. Piper Wick (nee Pickwick) has it all: a powerful career, a good lifestyle, and an almost fiancee ... that is until the past comes knocking and she has to return to h ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Marylin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-reviewed

As a child Piper Pickwick and her mother are treated very bad by everyone, even her own family. They decided enough was enough and moved away. Piper wanted nothing more to do with the town or her family, so she changes her name and swears she'll never go back. That is...before she receives a call stating that her favorite uncle, Uncle Obe, is having health issues and his lawyer tells her she needs to come back to help with the estate, and her uncle.
Throw in this mix a few int
Apr 11, 2011 Stephany rated it liked it
A pretty good read, involving a girl who comes back to a place that really hurt her. Her uncle is seemingly on his deathbed so she comes back to help figure out his will. It's there she has to realize her own failings and forgiveness.

One thing that bugs me about Christian fiction is how shallow their faith is. And it seems like everything clicks so seemlessly without any real struggle on their part. This book was the same. And the fact that she reads 1 verse a night as her "Bible study"? Umm...
Jun 24, 2016 Ria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...makes you want to visit and stay a while

You can train the twang out of your voice, but Piper has more trouble resisting the pull of relatives and emotions she believes long out to rest. When an emergency pulls her home to the one person who treated her well, what she finds is a tangled web of what used to be getting in the way of what she wants to be.

She finally begins to understand her troublesome, Hollywood clients' struggles to follow her instructions in order to control public perception
Mar 01, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing
I love this book! What a fun read and's not all light and fun. There are some serious family relationship issues to be resolved. Some of them are huge and you have to wonder how Leigh will be able to fix this maladjusted family. Does she? Not telling.

Piper Wick is a fun character. She's changed her name from Piper Pickwick --can you even imagine what she had to endure on the playground...oh wait, Piper isn't real she's the main character in this book. Leigh has brought her to life for r
Jun 27, 2016 Joleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inheritance
I really like this book.

At 16 Piper and her mother left the town of Pickwick in the dust. As an adult, Piper changed her last name to Wick because the legacy of the Pickwick name was something less than desired. Neither the town nor her family ever treated them with kindness and inclusion.

One day she gets a call from her uncle's lawyer saying she needed to come back home to do damage control with regard to her uncle's will, the only family member she had fond memories of.

But her damage control
Oct 10, 2009 Ruth rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I could relate to the heroine; a girl who never fit in when she was in high school. On the other hand, I found the premise--a high school mis-fit turned high-powered PR agent called home to talk her uncle out of disinheriting the family and exposing family skeletens to be unrealistic. The romance elements were fun, and in some ways this book is not much more than fluffy chick-lit, but sometimes it seems to take itself too seriously. The faith ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start..

Just finished reading this book, at first it was slow and I wasn't sure I'd be able to read it(I usually give a book a chapter or two before giving up), well as I continued to read, I was drawn into the Pickwick town and family... Wow, what family mischief and dysfunction but God must be up to something. Not sure how long Tamara Leigh has been writing but from this book I'd think not long but it improved and the sneak peek of book 2 has me intrigued and her writing seems to be more
May 12, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
At first, I wasn't sure about this book. I didn't realize from the cover blurb that it was Christian fiction, and I didn't mind that, but at the beginning, it felt forced, as if she had written the book, then decided to make it Christian fiction and gone back and added the Christian references. However, from the beginning I was also pulled in to the story. And the further I read, the more the Christian references became seamless. In the end, I really enjoyed the book and I can't wait to read the ...more
May 01, 2010 Sally rated it really liked it
I thought this was an entertaining read. There are certainly skeletons in this family's closets and the main character has a lot of conscience-wrestling to do. I loved how she'd interpreted the Bible to fit her life; something I think a lot of us do. Furthermore, it goes to show that looks and money aren't everything. You might be able change your name, style and location, but it's what's inside that matters.
elaine m. suda
Jun 10, 2016 elaine m. suda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming Home

Thankful for this heartwarming story about the Pickwick family and their various secrets. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Piper, Axel, Devyn, and Obadiah. It was refreshing how Piper and Obadiah finally told the truth and the truth set them free. We could use more of the truth being told in the present day. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
Jul 10, 2011 Andi Newberry ~Tubbs rated it it was amazing
Tamara Leigh is one of my all time faves! She writes real people, living real lives, and once again she did not disappoint! I can see myself in her characters, as they struggle with faith, and learn to be more like God. What is really fun about Tamara is that she has just enough fun, and romance to keep the book balanced. There is never too much of one or the other. This is a great book that I highly recommend!
I hadn't realised this book was so utterly 'god' focussed when I started reading. It was only when I was into the story that it became clear that this is a massively 'inspirational' story.

Religious aspect aside, I really enjoyed the writing and the story in general, but I was totally squicked by the constant references to the bible and god. My fault for not reading the authors bio.

Not rating at this time
Patricia Solla
Oct 17, 2011 Patricia Solla rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
So you leave home and then return twelve years later to a dysfunctional family that needs your help with a problem with an uncle's will. Then there's the matter of the gardner. What's up with him? I liked the story but the writing left me strangely blah. An interesting cast of characters in (to me) a slowly moving storyline.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 15, 2015 10:38AM  
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Tamara Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994. Continuing to write for the general market, three more novels were published with HarperCollins and Dorchester and earned awards and spots on national bestseller lists.

In 2006, Tamara’s first inspirational co
More about Tamara Leigh...

Other Books in the Series

Southern Discomfort (3 books)
  • Nowhere, Carolina (Southern Discomfort #2)
  • Restless in Carolina (Southern Discomfort #3)

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