I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Right Thing by Amy Conner
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on May 27, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fiction
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On a scorching August day in 1963, seven-year-old Annie Banks meets the girl who will become her best friend. Skinny, outspoken Starr Dukes and her wandering preacher father may not be accepted by polite society in Jackson, Mississippi, but Annie and Starr are too busy sharing secrets and playing elaborate games of Queen for a Day to care. Then, as suddenly as she appeared in Annie's life, Starr disappears.\r\n
Annie grows up to follow the path ordained for pretty, well-to-do Jackson women--marrying an ambitious lawyer, filling her days with shopping and charity work. She barely recognizes Starr when they meet twenty-seven years after that first fateful summer, but the bond formed so long ago quickly reemerges. Starr, pregnant by a powerful married man who wants her to get out of town, has nowhere to turn. And Annie, determined not to fail her friend this time, agrees to drive Starr to New Orleans to get money she's owed.
During the eventful road trip that follows, Annie will confront the gap between friendship and responsibility between her safe, ordered existence and the dreams she's grown accustomed to denying.
Moving, witty, and beautifully told, The Right Thing is a story of love and courage, the powerful impact of friendship, and the small acts that can anchor a life--or, with a little luck, steer it in the right direction at last.
Annie Banks is one spunky and entertaining kid, but she grew into the kind of woman I really can’t stand. She has no backbone, basically starves herself to maintain the look she thinks she is expected to have, she endures parties with people she loathes because her husband is a wealthy lawyer and that is what is expected of his wife. He treats her like a child, and she acts like one. She is devastated by the fact that after years of trying, she has been unable to conceive a child (even though her husband refuses any kind of fertility testing and there is never any mention of even considering adoption). Her life is empty and she feels like a complete outsider in the high-class world she lives in. But then a chance encounter with her childhood best friend that she hasn’t seen in 27 years completely changes her life in the course of one very eventful night. The Right Thing by Amy Conner is told both in the past – the 1960’s of Annie’s childhood – and the present (well, Annie’s present, which is 1990). I like books that do this – I love a good back story! This was no exception – I really enjoyed reading about all the shenanigans that young Annie and Starr got into. Their stories were funny and sweet, and I looked forward to reading more about them every time we flipped to the present. I felt for both girls – Starr having to live with her alcoholic father, and Annie being misunderstood by her family and perpetually getting into trouble. The present-day storyline of Starr and Annie’s reunion and the chaos that ensued from their road trip seemed a bit clichéd to me. Most of the characters throughout the book seemed to be one-dimensional stereotypes of wealthy Southerners (although I was a big fan of Aunt Too-Tai!). In the end, I was not overwhelmed. Even though I became slightly more sympathetic toward Annie after learning all about her past, she still wasn’t a character I related to or even liked that much. I was rooting for her to accept herself for who she was and live her own life, but she frequently made me roll my eyes or shake my head. There were a few unexpected revelations that kept the ending from being completely predictable, but overall I think it was rather forgettable.
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