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Bound South

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,006 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
From the award winning author of A Soft Place to Land and A Place at the Table comes a tale of three vibrant and unique Southern women—Louise, Caroline, and Missy—as their lives intersect in unexpected and extraordinary ways.

From the outside, Louise Parker seems like a proper Southern matron. But inside, Louise seethes. She’s thwarted by her seemingly perfect husband, frus
Paperback, 345 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Touchstone
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The Help by Kathryn StockettTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Quirky Southern Fiction
179th out of 690 books — 1,774 voters
Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Help by Kathryn StockettAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieThe Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Books With Multiple Perspectives
356th out of 444 books — 211 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 15, 2009 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, southern-lit
Louise has her hands full. Her teenaged daughter has run amok, her son is retreating into teenaged angst, her maid's problems are her problems and her best friend is getting divorced. But these are Southern women, smack in the heart of Atlanta, and they deal with problems using two failproof weapons: humor and alcohol.

This debut novel by Susan Rebecca White is a pleasant addition to the growing Southern Lit genre. Told from multiple (female) viewpoints, White is at the top of her game in the sna
Feb 11, 2015 Corey rated it it was ok
While I cannot say that this is a very thought-provoking book, it does provide some interesting commentary on Southern (and American in general) values. I was entertained throughout the book and did eagerly read each chapter to find out what would happen next. The story-line follows a family in Atlanta across several generations and confronts a series of important issues: teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, racism, divorce, religion.

All in all, this was just some light mind-less reading, good for
Aug 11, 2009 Vivian rated it did not like it
I absolutely love Southern fiction. This book has gotten endless positive reviews from both critics and readers, but I didn't care for it and I'm not sure why. I generally read about 50 pages of a book before before I decide whether or not it's worth my time. Because of the glowing reviews, I read another 50 and finally stopped. Although Ms. White writes well, I didn't care about the characters or the storyline. Nothing grabbed me and made me want to keep reading. However, I'd be curious to see ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it
I would actually give this book about 3.5 stars but there are no half stars available. I picked it up out of the reading basket at the pool where I was vacationing. It really is a great vacation reading book. Each chapter is titled with the date and character/narrator. I found this to be an effective way to develop this particular story. I was also pleased that it was not a romance novel nor did it portray these southern states' residents and women in a simpering or grossly overdone manner that ...more
Jul 01, 2010 Macie rated it really liked it
Just finished this book, can't wait to read her next book...waiting til paperback though. Great story about a family living in Atlanta and how her children evolve around her. I really like how other characters in the book narrate certain chapters!
Feb 10, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
There are two things I love. Reading new authors and southern fiction. . I stumbled across this book online a couple months ago and was intrigued by its premise.

Louise is the mother of two children, living a cushy life in Atlanta with her lawyer husband and two children. Caroline is Louise's teenage daughter with a mind of her own. Missy is the young daughter of Louise's housekeeper who has her own ideas of how one should live their life. It's interesting to follow the lives of these three sout
May 01, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-fiction
I was looking forward to Bound South, mostly because I thought it would be light and funny, an amusing alternative to the seriousness of life. One of the reviews in the book states, "From chapter one, you are in the unsentimental, annoying and enormously funny new South." I read almost eight chapters and I was still asking the same question: when does the "funny" start?

On the outside, this book was about a clash between new and old Southern manners and attitudes. However, I found it hard to hav
Aug 03, 2011 Darla rated it really liked it
Very quick and enjoyable read focusing on the lives of three women in present-day Atlanta, and how their lives intersect one another's. I ran across a review for this book in one of the magazines I subscribe to, and because the author of the review recommended it for people who enjoyed "The Help" (see previous review I wrote a few months ago), I decided to pick it up at the library. Like "The Help", the story in "Bound South" is told from three Southern women's viewpoints. I don't feel that "Bou ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
May 03, 2009 JG (The Introverted Reader) rated it liked it
Recommended to JG (The Introverted Reader) by: Southern Lit Lovers group read
I would say that Bound South is a group of connected short stories. There's not really one plot that connects the chapters. Instead, I would say that the author uses these stories, told from the points of view of three different Southern ladies, to explore issues they each face and how hard it can be to move past them, even when they try.

I thought the author did a fantastic job giving each character her own voice. With each story being written in first person, it was very important that she get
Sep 18, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
I read BOUND SOUTH while on four flights this past weekend, and it definitely took my mind off the hours in the air! The story is told from three different viewpoints and sometimes jumps ahead. I enjoyed Louise's chapters the most. She's the mother of Charles and Caroline, daughter-in-law of Nanny Rose. I enjoyed her perspective on being a Southern woman, and I admired how she changed and handled her children as the book went on. Caroline, the rebel child, also shares her POV, and I really liked ...more
Whitney Long
Oct 08, 2009 Whitney Long rated it it was ok
I think I read a different book than others have that loved this one. I kept waiting on the funny moments. My mother recommended this to me saying 'This one isn't as good as 'The Help' but it's funny-you'll like it.' I didn't like it. I hate not finishing a book so I read it through but was disappointed. I felt myself becoming annoyed by the characters. As a young Southern woman I didn't identify with the characters or their situations; instead I became increasingly aggravated at the sacreligiou ...more
Becky Renfrow
Bound South is a story of a young family from Atlanta, Georgia. This family isn't what you would call your typical southern family, although from the outside it seems that they live an American family’s stereotypical life. This story takes place over many years and across many states of the USA show casing the bond that this family shares. The book is told through 3 main points of view, Louise, Caroline, and Missy. Louise is trying to live a somewhat normal life while trying to manage her rebell ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Teri rated it it was ok
If you know me at all you know I HATE to put a book in the DNF pile but this one is going in there faster than you can blink! I gave it a good honest try and read almost a third of it but after looking at reviews (which I tend to not do prior to starting a book because everybody is different) and seeing that they are pretty much saying the same thing as I was feeling I decided enough time wasted! Giving it 2 stars since I liked ONE character (the mother Louise) and chapter 1. The first chapter w ...more
Sep 24, 2015 Jan rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Loni Cranney
Sep 03, 2009 Loni Cranney rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good. I like that it was told from 3 different points of view. It was almost like a series of short stories, but I liked how the author tied them all together in the end. My only complaint is that Missy is the most interesting character, and she has the fewest/shortest chapters. I would have liked to learn a little more about her.
Sep 30, 2009 MaryJo rated it it was ok
Could have been great chick lit but fell short. By the end of the book I felt like I was reading a diatribe by the author on her world views --- women without careers can't feel satisfied (and child rearing is burdensome), a person of faith is either a red neck or a nut, and abortion is the only common sense answer --- very whiney!
Feb 16, 2014 Theresadaum rated it did not like it
Did not enjoy this at all. I'm not sure at all writer was trying to accomplish here. I have so many complaints about the character development. The mother, for one, the chief protagonist, a mother of two over indulged children that tries to reinvent herself to them by agreeing to have her vagina photographed and throwing a coming out party for her son. The author wants us to see that she is a unique character because she had another boyfriend, a lover, for a short period before she married. Alth ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok
This book starts out hilariously funny and I was looking forward to a fun read. However, as it progresses it is simply life from the perspective of three women whose lives intersect (one woman and two older adolescents as the book begins). I wish I had read the book club notes at the end as they helped clarify the author's intent. Even so, I don't think the topics the author hoped to address were addressed as strongly as she would have hoped. That being said, I do believe the author to have repr ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Wonderful southern story.
Apr 13, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is the definition of a Southern Lady? Has that definition evolved as the years have passed?

The story consists of snippets of time through the decade of 1998 to 2008, as told by Louise - a forty-ish wife and mother living in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta; Caroline - her rebellious teenage daughter; and Missy - the young daughter of her housekeeper.

I have to admit I started and stopped this book several times over a couple weeks, unable to really engage in the story. The first several chapters
Paul Pessolano
Feb 02, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
This is a story of a staid family living in Ansley Park, yes Ansley Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The story is told from the viewpoint of three women, Louise, Caroline, and Missy. The are all connected with each other through Nanny Rose. Nanny Rose is Louise's mother, Caroline is the daughter of Louise, and Missy is the daughter of the woman who cleans house for Nanny Rose. Sounds complicated, but its not.

Louise would be considered a proper Atlanta matron, with all the old southern charm and traditi
Noe Crockett
Apr 08, 2009 Noe Crockett rated it it was amazing
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I was at the bookstore one day and the cover caught my eye. The description sounded interesting to me so I quickly reserved a copy at the library. Unfortunately it took a few weeks before I had a chance to read it, but once I started it, I finished it in about two days.

That being said, I have to disclose that I love the South and I think that had a lot to do with why I enjoyed this novel so much. It's about three women/girls in present-day Atlanta and how their lives
Briana Summers
Mar 20, 2009 Briana Summers rated it liked it
Was this a quick read? YES Did I enjoy reading it? YES Did I pass it along for others to read? YES However....

There are a few things keeping this book from getting 5 stars from me. 1) While the book is written from the point of view of 3 people, it is obvious that the main character is Louise. And well....I don't really like Louise. Despite living smack-dab between Ansley Park and Buckhead, I can't really sympathize with the priveledged women living within the walls of those decadent homes. 2) I
Jul 01, 2012 Leah rated it liked it
Bound South takes place in Atlanta, GA. It has three different narrators: Louise (the mom- a rule follower, rich housewife, wonders what her life would have been like if she hadn't got married), Caroline (Louise's daughter - a rebel, an actress, wildchild, compulsive) and Missy (the housekeeper's daughter - very spiritual/Christian, abandoned by her father, poor). We learn about each of their lives from their childhood through adulthood. This book explores many taboo topics like religion, race, ...more
Judy Collins
Jul 07, 2013 Judy Collins rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Susan Rebecca White has become my new top favorite author! Bound South was so compelling and kept me laughing until the wee hours of the morning! Being I am from the south (Carolinas) and spent most all my life living in Atlanta – she was right on about stereotypes, old pretenses and the way they hide their true feelings.
Each of the main three characters --- so real and loved the first person narrative from each perspective. Wow, family secrets, scandals, and lots of humor an
Sep 18, 2010 Anne-Marie rated it liked it
This author was at the Decatur Book Fest last year - I didn't go but my mom did and she said that she felt so sorry for this lady because what's-her-face that wrote The Help was there too and she was the only one on the panel getting asked questions. I hate book covers with shoes on them. Do publishers think that the only way a woman will pick up a book is if there are a pair of shoes on the fucking front? This was a pretty good book though. One of the better known authors who had their review o ...more
Apr 27, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-book-club
There's one really bad thing about this book.

It ends.

I had so much fun reading it that I was not ready for it to be over. I wanted to know more about Tiny and Louise, and what happened to Nanny Rose between the beginning and end of the book, and what about Charles? And Caroline? Oh Susan White, you are going to need to write some companion novels to this book.

Two things I especially liked about Bound South:

1- Unexpected plot twists that were totally in keeping with the Old South/New South feel
Jul 26, 2011 Stacy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's not written in a "traditional novel fashion." Instead, it is a series of vignettes that give you glimpses into the lives of three southern women. The book is chronological, yet not linear. So, you see bits and pieces of these women's lives. They intertwine to make a great story. There are certainly holes, as it is not a linear novel, and there are stories that are told that make you wonder "Where is this going and why was it included?" However, the book is never ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Marshakinney rated it liked it
I rated this book objectively although it deserves a higher rating for my personal enjoyment. This Southern author obviously lives or lived in my old stomping grounds and it was fun to go home. Even the high school referenced frequently was my alma mater, Grady and the characters mostly lived in Ansley Park where I grew up. That aside, it was light and fun and entertaining.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #50 - Bound South 1 1 Aug 19, 2013 01:27PM  
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Susan Rebecca White is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Bound South and A Soft Place to Land. Her third novel, A Place at the Table, will be published by Touchstone / Simon & Schuster in June of 2013. A graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at Hollins, Susan currently teaches creative writing at Emory University. She lives in her hometown of Atlanta, GA with her husband ...more
More about Susan Rebecca White...

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“How do I tell her that what I want is to know her, to know the woman who made these birds, to see what she might become if she is allowed to spread out, to expand. How do I say, Darling, please. Don't shrink yourself so soon. 3 likes
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