Author: Michele Shriver
Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date Published: October 25, 2012
Genre: Women’s/General Fiction
Recommended Age: Adults
Reviewed By: Engelia McCullough
Received Book Free From Author for Review
Summary:It’s the start of a new school year and author, Michele Shriver has brought the Sixth South gang back to Ramson Middle School. Led by the tenacious Kelsey Howton, the teachers embark on another school year that begins well for the most part but once again tests their commitment to one another and themselves.
Sixth South is about the bond between four women who struggle to maintain a balance between their personal, professional and social lives. Kelsey’s ability to teach her students is heavily questioned and not necessarily as a result of her professional abilities. When she turns to her friend, Joni, for support she is surprised that Joni’s own insecurities regarding her marriage threaten their friendship.
Megan is new to the group. Fresh out of school and looking to save the world, she unintentionally ends up in a situation that brings back unsettling memories of an abusive past. As she tries to overcome this before it destroys her and her current relationship, she finds out that one of the most important things in life is a good circle of friends.
The more things change, the more they stay the same for the women of Sixth South. As a result, these dynamic women manage to find a way to change what they do in order to survive an ever-changing and not always understanding world.
Engelia’s Thoughts:The story is set in the year 2011 and at a time in our nation’s history where there is a new normal. Shriver does an excellent job of placing current issues within her book allowing the reader to connect with the characters and their circumstances.
I did enjoy Michele Shriver’s dive into each character’s persona. As the reader, you feel the fight within Kelsey and you commiserate with Megan’s youthfulness and naivety. Often in reading a book written in the third person that contains a variety of characters, it can be hard to transition from one point of view to the next. However, Shriver does a great job of maintaining the character’s separate lives without removing them completely from the scope of the story and their group dynamic. In addition, to perfecting the story transition Shriver does an excellent job of giving you a little bit of information but not telling you what you would like to know all at once. She puts the carrot in front of you and slowly guides you toward the finish line.
The one character I absolutely fell in love with was Sarah. This is a character from Michele Shriver’s first installment, After Ten. A lawyer, she is the type of woman that you want to walk with you down a dark alley in New York City. A fighter and supportive individual, she plays a strong role in Sixth South and will leave you wondering why your significant other can’t be more like her.
I would suggest reading After Ten if you’d like to get a better idea of the characters and the community. However, Sixth South is written in way that you don’t feel as if you’ve missed out on any information.
Who is Sarah? What issues face Kelsey within the first few weeks of the new school year? What secret does Joni uncover about her marriage? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Adult Content: There are scenes that depict relationship issues such as infidelity.