Book picks similar to
Charleston by Margaret Bradham Thornton


fiction
historical-fiction
romance
chick-lit

Fortune's Rocks


Anita Shreve - 1999
    On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the last century, a young woman is drawn into a rocky, disastrous passage to adulthood. Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple--a precocious and well-educated daughter, alive with ideas and flush with the first stirrings of maturity. Her summer at the family's vacation home in Fortune's Rocks is transformed by the arrival of a doctor, a friend of her father's, whose new book about mill-town laborers has caused a sensation. Olympia is captivated by his thinking, his stature, and his drive to do right--even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor--a married man, a father, and nearly three times her age--come together in an unthinkable, torturous, hopelessly passionate affair. Throwing aside propriety and self-preservation, Olympia plunges forward with cataclysmic results that are the price of straying in an unforgiving era. Olympia is cast out of the world she knows, and Fortune's Rocks is the story of her determination to reinvent her broken life--and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without. A meditation on the erotic life of women, an exploration of class prejudices, and most of all a portrayal of the thoughts and actions of an unforgettable young woman, Fortune's Rocks is a masterpiece of narrative drama, beautifully written by one of the most accomplished novelists of our time.

Between Friends


Debbie Macomber - 2002
    A story in which every woman will recognize herself...and her best friendJillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski. Two girls from very different backgrounds become best friends in the turbulent O60s, but their circumstances and choices--and their mistakes--take them in opposite directions. Lesley stays in their hometown. She marries young, living a life defined by the demands of small children, never enough money, and an unfaithful husband. Jill lives those years on a college campus shaken by the Vietnam War, and then as an idealistic young lawyer in New York City.But they always remain friends.Through the years and across the miles, Jill and Lesley confide everything to each other--every grief and joy. Because the quality of a friendship is the quality of a life.

Colony


Anne Rivers Siddons - 1992
    Among the patrician men and women who reside in the summer colony on the coast of Maine, her gypsy-like beauty and impulsive behavior immediately brand her an outsider. She, as well as everyone else, is certain she will never fit in. And of course, she doesn't...at first.But over the many summers she spends there, Maude comes to cherish life in the colony, as she does the people who share it with her. There is her husband Peter, consumed with a darkness of spirit; her adored but dangerously fragile children; her domineering mother-in-law, who teaches her that it is the women who possess the strength to keep the colony intact; and Maine native Micah Willis, who is ultimately Maude's truest friend.This brilliant novel, rich with emotion, is filled with appealing, intense, and indomitable characters. Anne Rivers Siddons paints a portrait of a woman determined to preserve the spirit of past generations—and the future of a place where she became who she is...a place called Colony.

It All Comes Back to You


Beth Duke - 2018
     War's over, cherry-print dresses, parking above the city lights, swing dancing. Beautiful, seventeen-year-old Violet lives in a perfect world. Everybody loves her. In 2012, she's still beautiful, charming, and surrounded by admirers. Veronica "Ronni" Johnson, licensed practical nurse and aspiring writer, meets the captivating Violet in the assisted living facility where Violet requires no assistance, just lots of male attention. When she dies, she leaves Ronni a very generous bequest―only if Ronni completes a book about her life within one year. As she's drawn into the world of young Violet, Ronni is mesmerized by life in a simpler time. It's an irresistible journey filled with revelations, some of them about men Ronni knew as octogenarians at Fairfield Springs. Struggling, insecure, flailing at the keyboard, Ronni juggles her patients, a new boyfriend, and a Samsonite factory of emotional baggage as she tries to craft a manuscript before her deadline.But then the secrets start to emerge, some of them in person. And they don't stop.Everything changes. Alternating chapters between Homecoming Queen Violet in 1947 and can't-quite-find-her-crown Ronni in the present, IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU is book club fiction at its hilarious, warm, sad, outrageous, uplifting, and stunning best. In the tradition of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and Olive Kitteridge, Duke delivers an unforgettable elderly character to treasure and a young heroine to steal your heart.

The Last Letter from Your Lover


Jojo Moyes - 2008
    When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband. Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance. A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.

The Light of Paris


Eleanor Brown - 2016
    From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on the inside, she fears she has nothing that matters. In Madeleine’s memories, her grandmother Margie is the kind of woman she should have been—elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie’s bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist. Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer—reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart. Margie and Madeleine’s stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be.

Spring House


Mary Ellen Taylor - 2019
    With the help of her fiancé’s caring best friend, it’s sure to draw much-needed tourist revenue to Cape Hudson, a town rich in southern history.However, it’s Spring House, the caretaker’s cottage on the grounds, that holds the most intriguing history for Megan. In a cache of old letters, she’s drawn into the captivating life of a young woman who embarked on her own dream adventure a century ago. With each one, Megan is swept away into her enthralling world—and all its secrets. But Megan has secrets too.Now, as one woman’s past unfolds in each revealing letter, Megan will discover more about herself and about the emotional tides of family that can be weathered with those you love and trust the most.

The Swan House


Elizabeth Musser - 2001
    But a tragedy that touches all of Atlanta sends her reeling in grief. When the family maid challenges her to reach out to the less fortunate as a way to ease her own pain, Mary Swan meets Carl-and everything changes. For although Carl is her opposite in nearly every way, he has something her privileged life could not give her. And when she seeks his help to uncover a mystery, she learns far more than she ever could have imagined.

The Butterfly Summer


Harriet Evans - 2016
    and danger. Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you've been waiting all your life to hear.This house is Nina Parr's birthright. It holds the truth about her family - and a chance to put everything right at last.Harriet Evans. She brings you home. Two things happen when you are a Parr girl: when you are ten, you are told about your future role. The second thing that a Parr girl at some point must learn is harder to tell of. It is a dark work indeed, the business of this house, hidden from the world.

The Good Daughters


Joyce Maynard - 2010
    Ruth Plank is an artist and a romantic with a rich, passionate, imaginative life. The last of five girls born to a gentle, caring farmer and his stolid wife, she yearns to soar beyond the confines of the land that has been her family's birthright for generations. Dana Dickerson is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in the natural world. Raised by a pair of capricious drifters who waste their lives on failed dreams, she longs for stability and rootedness. Different in nearly every way, Ruth and Dana share a need to make sense of who they are and to find their places in a world in which neither has ever truly felt she belonged. They also share a love for Dana's wild and beautiful older brother, Ray, who will leave an indelible mark on both their hearts. Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these "birthday sisters" as they make their way from the 1950s to the present. Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women's lives parallel and intersect—from childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner—until past secrets and forgotten memories unexpectedly come to light, forcing them to reevaluate themselves and each other. Moving from rural New Hampshire to a remote island in British Columbia to the '70s Boston art-school scene, The Good Daughters is an unforgettable story about the ties of home and family, the devastating force of love, the healing power of forgiveness, and the desire to know who we are.

The Mermaid Garden


Santa Montefiore - 2011
    She likes to spy from the crumbling wall into the gardens and imagine that one day she’ll escape her meager existence and live there surrounded by its otherworldly splendor. Then one day Dante, the son of the villa’s powerful industrialist owner, invites her inside and shows her the enchanting Mermaid Garden. From that moment, Floriana knows that the only destiny for her is there, in that garden, with Dante. But as they grow up and fall in love, their romance causes a crisis, jeopardizing the very thing they hold most dear.Decades later and hundreds of miles away, a beau-tiful old country house hotel on England’s Devon coast has fallen on hard times after the financial crash of 2008. Its owner, Marina, advertises for an artist to stay the summer and teach the guests how to paint. The man she hires is charismatic and wise and soon begins to pacify the discord in her family and transform the fortunes of the hotel. However, he has his own agenda. Is it to destroy, to seduce, or to heal? Whatever his intentions, he is certain to change Marina’s life forever.Spanning four decades and sweeping from the Italian countryside to the English coast, this new story by Santa Montefiore is a moving and mysterious tale of love, forgiveness, and the past revealed.

Palmetto Moon


Kim Boykin - 2014
    Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

I cercatori di conchiglie


Rosamunde Pilcher - 1987
    She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.

The Forgotten Seamstress


Liz Trenow - 2013
    As an attractive girl, she soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she in turn is captivated by his glamour and intensity.But careless talk causes trouble and soon Maria’s life takes a far darker turn. Disbelieved and dismissed she is thrown into a mental asylum, shut away from the real world with only her needlework for company.Can a beautiful quilt, discovered many years later, reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?

A Paris Apartment


Michelle Gable - 2014
    She hears escape.Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.It's about discovering two women, actually.With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan's private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe's life, April can't help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she's been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable's A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.