Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh is a delightful afternoon's read. Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is attempting to develop a new life after the untimely death of her young husband three years ago. She pours herself into her work at a local nursery, hoping to avoid having to rid herself of her "widow weeds" which are impediments to her developing a richer interpersonal life. She is reluctant to let go of her wedding ring, and she seemingly has no interest in dating.
Then, Bridget is forced into a chance encounter with J.C. Dirk, a developer who is interested in the extensive Pickwick estate. As he explores the possibility of acquiring the estate, Bridgett explores unexpected feelings of closeness to J.C. The feelings are initially unsettling and unwelcome. Gradually, the relationship begins to unfold in the midst of a struggle to obtain the Pickwick estate. J.C. becomes privy to family interactions which are real and delightful. At about the time he appears ready to make an offer on the estate, fate steps in and chaos results.
The author has a delightful way of allowing the reader to know the inner workings of her characters. The Pickwick family seems real and believable, both with their oddities and their kindnesses. Although this is a book which includes religion, it does not preach religion. Rather, it carefully guides the characters to using religious strength in a way in which religion is seen as a positive and logical force. Cheers for Tamara Leigh for another delightful novel!