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Publisher's Summary

Utina, Florida, is a small, down-at-heels southern town. Once enlivened by the trade in Palm Sunday palms and moonshine, Utina hasn’t seen economic growth in decades, and no family is more emblematic of the local reality than the Bravos. Deserted by the patriarch years ago, the Bravos are held together in equal measure by love, unspoken blame, and tenuously brokered truces.
The story opens on a sweltering July day, as Frank Bravo, dutiful middle son, is awakened by a distress call. Frank dreams of escaping to cool mountain rivers, but he’s only made it 10 minutes from the family restaurant he manages every day and the decrepit, Spanish-moss-draped house he was raised in, and where his strong-willed mother and spitfire sister - both towering redheads, equally matched in stubbornness - are fighting another battle royale. Little do any of them know that Utina is about to meet the tide of development that has already engulfed the rest of Northeast Florida. When opportunity knocks, tempers ignite, secrets are unearthed, and each of the Bravos is forced to confront the tragedies of their shared past.
Reminiscent of Kaye Gibbons, Lee Smith, Anne Tyler, and Fannie Flagg, Heart of Palm introduces Laura Lee Smith as a captivating new voice in American fiction.
©2013 Laura Lee Smith (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Intelligence, heart, wit...Laura Lee Smith has all the tools and Heart of Palm is a very impressive first novel." (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Andrea on 09-10-13

Loved it!

This is a dysfunctional family with a capital D. Heartfelt, funny and so realistic. I enjoyed the characters, and the narration was done very well--really liked the cadence of his voice. I would not hesitate to find more books by this author.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Stacy on 08-25-13

You look like you need a ride darlin

So much about the passing of time makes me sad- and here we see a whole life and an entire family --their happiness and tragedies...yikes I loved this story and am so sorry that it's over- I wonder what will happen to Frank and Sophia and Dean... Listen listen listen.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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