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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The River Runs South

Narrator: Megan Tusing

Dreamscape Media

ISBN: 9781639104574

Publisher: Alcove Press

Publication Date: 09/05/2023

Format: e-book and audio

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

This transporting and illuminating debut novel will resonate with readers who have ever felt a little bit lost, perfect for fans of Kristy Woodson Harvey and Linda Holmes.

Exploring love, loss, and the courage of starting over fresh, this novel will appeal to readers on the hunt for emotionally rich fiction.

When Camille Taylor’s husband dies unexpectedly, the carefully constructed life she worked so hard to build in Washington, DC, shatters. After struggling for almost a year, she reaches a breaking point, packs up her daughter, and heads for the Alabama coast where she grew up.

The salt air and slow rhythms of the coast soothe Camille’s spirit, but when she meets local fisherman Mack Phillips, she learns that things have changed in her hometown. Runoff from an abandoned development site is polluting the water, and Mack has brought a suit against the site’s owners—Camille’s father among them.

Battling her own fears for the fragile ecosystem of her beloved Mobile Bay, Camille joins her father’s defense team, but the more she learns, the more she wonders if she’s landed on the right side of the fight. Meanwhile, Camille is slowly drawn to Mack's fearless resolve, his sterling ideals, and finally to the man himself.

Faced with blurred lines between right and wrong, Camille must decide for herself what the next chapter of her life will bring.

With timely commentary on Alabama's fragile ecosystem and exploring themes of grief, love, and community, The River Runs South will appeal to southern fiction readers on the hunt for the nostalgia of Sweet Home Alabama.

My Review

Audrey Ingram's stunning debut, THE RIVER RUNS SOUTH, is a beautifully moving story of courage and new beginnings — a mother, wife, and attorney, stricken with grief returns to her small coastal Southern hometown to assist her father, Sam, with an environmental lawsuit and in the process she remembers what she loved about the area and wants the same for her daughter.

Camille Taylor has worked hard to escape her small-town life of Alabama and is now a successful attorney (Junior partner) in hopes of being a full partner in Washington, DC, happily married with a young daughter, Willa.

When Ben, her husband, dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she is shattered with grief. When a panic attack lands her in the hospital, she decides to visit her parents in her hometown in the coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama, with her six-year-old daughter Willa over the summer for a change and emotional support.

She finds the salt air and the coast is what she needs and introduces her daughter to everything she loved as a child. She also meets local fisherman, the intriguing Mack Phillips.

There is much stress in her parent's home as her father is involved in a lawsuit due to runoff from an abandoned development site polluting the water, and Mack has brought a suit against the site’s owners—Camille’s father among them.

Her daughter is a big fan of Mack's but Camille's mom (very critical and controlling) the perfect Marion Graves, does not like her mentioning his name but yet she wants Camille to date the local attorney, Griffin, whom she thinks is more suitable.

There is more to Mack than meets the eye. Camille's daughter loves it here and wants to stay, but Camille's life and law career are back in DC.

Can she remain in Alabama, fight for causes, have a law practice, and get to know Mack? Can she have it all and offer the best life for her daughter?

Lawyers always seem to make the best authors!

THE RIVER RUNS SOUTH is heartwarming, beautifully told, and one of grief, family, self-discovery, and new beginnings. I love the stunning cover and the fun characters. Willa was a favorite, and I loved her spunk and vivid personality. The Southern setting and environment elements, as were the mother/daughter relationships and emotions, were well done.

AUDIOBOOK: I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook I highly recommend, narrated by the fabulously talented Megan Tusing (a favorite) for all voices for an engaging performance.

Audrey Ingram is an author to watch! Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

THE RIVER RUNS SOUTH is perfect for fans of the movie Sweet Home Alabama and authors Mary Alice Monroe, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Lauren K. Denton, and Patti Callahan Henry—an ideal book club pick.

Thanks to Alcove Press and Dreamscape Media for a gifted ARC and ALC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Sept 5, 2023


“The River Runs South captivated me from page one. I love stories where the location is almost a separate character, and Fairhope, Alabama really shines here. Camille's journey through the grief process after losing her husband never seemed predictable, and I felt a strong connection to Camille's daughter Willa, her parents Marion and Sam, and especially Mack Phillips, the charismatic local fisherman. Layered and nuanced, this is a great Southern tale.”

—Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author of Heard It in a Love Song.

“Lovers of luscious prose and fans of ecofiction will flock to Audrey Ingram’s moving Alabama-set tale. A story of second chances, motherhood, and the fragility of our environment, The River Runs South is a must read for anyone who has ever needed a fresh start. An unforgettable debut by a standout new voice in southern fiction.”

—Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer of Songbirds

“In the great tradition of Southern fiction, Audrey Ingram's The River Runs South captivated me from the first page. Filled with well developed characters and written in lush, poetic prose, it is the story of one woman's journey through grief into finding herself and becoming the woman she wants to be. I read it in two days! An absolute must for lovers of book club fiction.”

—Anita Hughes, author of Christmas at the Lake

About the Author

Audrey Ingram is a native of Alabama and a graduate of Middlebury College and Georgetown University Law Center. She practiced law in Washington, DC for fifteen years. When not writing, she can be found digging in her garden or hiking the Blue Ridge mountains. Audrey currently lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. WEBSITE



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