Friday 11 June 2021

Heart of Palm

Finished June 5
Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith

This book takes place in a small town called Utina along the Intercoastal in Florida.The story is set around one family, the Bravo family. Years before, a chance encounter between Dean Bravo and Arla Bolton led to their marriage and four children. The Bravo family already had a reputation, but Arla was in love and couldn't be swayed by her parents class concerns. 
The story is set decades later, after a tragedy has come to the family and years after Dean has left. After he left Arla bought a restaurant and her son Frank manages it. Daughter Sofia cleans it to a shine every day before it opens, and still lives at home with her mother. Carson has a career in the financial services industry and lives not far away with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Bell, but things are going wrong in both his professional and personal life.
With developers suddenly interested in both the family home, Aberdeen, and the restaurant, the family must come together and decide what is the best decision for the future. 
There are many connections between the different characters, and different kinds of love. There is rivalry and guilt, and regret. There are dreams that have been set aside, and dreams lost forever. This novel really brings you into the intricacies of this family, and the small town that they are a part of. We see the back story of how they got to where they are, and some of the things that led to their decisions. The town is gentrifying, and things are changing, and the family must come to decisions both as a unit, and as individuals. 
I loved this story and how we gradually got to know the different members of the family, seeing how they felt and what their individual story was as well as how they fit into both their family and their community. 

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