Review: On Leaving Charleston by Alexandra Ripley

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"From the waning glory of the Old South...

The plantation house, the lands, the golden traditions of Ashley Barony made it the pride of Charleston. But its fortunes fell violently, irrevocably, on Margaret Garden Tradd's scandalous wedding day.

To the wild razzle-dazzle of the jazz age....

From an ugly duckling love child, Garden Tradd became the glorious belle her mother, Margaret, had longed to be. Garden's marriage to the dashing Yankee, Sky Harris, was a triumph -- the match of a decade.

With breathtaking abandon and dazzling innocence, she danced through Paris, London, and New York as the twenties roared...until betrayal turned the glitter to bitter ash....until vengeful secrets of the past sent her home to Charleston--a city waiting to embrace its own or exact its own very special revenge."

Oh, man, this book though! I just finished reading it for the fourth time in the last 7 or so years and I still love it as much as I did the first time when I was in high school. What do I even say about it!?

WHEN I First Read

I first read this in high school, maybe 16. And honestly, this was most likely my first romance. Up to this point I stuck to YA or classics. This one bool opened a whole new, super awesome, world for me! I'm pretty sure I read this during the summer, too. Why are books always so much better in the summertime?

WHAT I Remember

I mostly remember this book as being an epic saga. We span a lot of family members and lot of time here. It beings in 1900 and ends in 1935. I also remember the main character Garden, being one of my all-time favorite characters. We get to completely grow up with her! From the time shes born, then as teenager, a married young woman... and you get to go through all her struggles and triumphs with her! I also remember getting sucked into the crazy world that was the 1920's in Paris. So fun!

WHY I Wanted to Re-read

Simple: for the feels. I love how re-reading a book can also take you back to yourself the first time you read it! 2014 wasn't a SUPER reading year for me. I didn't read many books that I could truthfully say I loved. So this is my way of experiencing the love of a book again.

HOW I Felt After Re-reading

Heart-breaking. Soul-crushing. So many tears. I don't think I had that reaction on my first read. But at 16, I don't think I had my heart broken by a love yet. On this read I was more able to feel Garden's love for and pain over Sky. I was SO rooting for them hard this time, Ugh, this book!

WOULD I Re-read Again

Definitely, yes! This book will stay on my shelf forever. (Plus, it's VERY hard to find now!) Maybe in a few years. When I need to fall in love with books again.

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