Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Keep it up and I will vote for The Notebook.”
On the fast track for partnership at an elite event planning business, Margot Cary’s life was just about perfect. That is until the party that was supposed to catapult her into event planning fame ends up sending her down in flames. Out of a job, an apartment, and money, Margot is about to hit rock bottom when she gets a calls with a job offer from her father’s family- The McCreadys of Lake Sackett, GA. Margot hasn’t seen or heard from her father since her mother divorced him, left Georgia and never looked back. Margot figures this is the perfect time to find her southern roots and get to know her relatives while looking for another job. Soon she is working the family business while knee deep in fried goods and town drama. When her diligence pays off and she’s offered a chance at redemption, Margot learns that sometimes what you want and what you need are two different things.
Set in the fictional town of Lake Sackett, GA, Molly Harper once again writes a winning contemporary filled with love, laughter, and plenty of charm. This quick read doesn’t disappoint with it’s hilarious narrative, eclectic characters, and subtle underlying message of family, forgiveness, and finding oneself. Harper hits the nail on the head as she introduces the idiosyncrasies of small town living, multi-generational families, and the power of the grapevine to a Chicago transplant who’s in need of some TLC.
Margot’s characterization is why I enjoy romantic comedies. Strong, intelligent, and quick witted, her strength comes from her ability to laugh at herself. With her quick mind and even quicker mouth, she left me giggling as she attempts to understand the dynamics of her new family and the town. I giggled and hooted from page one as Harper sets the stage for Margot’s downfall and inevitable reclaiming of her sense of self. Her ways of dealing with everyone knowing her business is with dignity, snark, and alcohol.
“The first time you tangle with moonshine is like dancing with a good looking carnie. Sure, it feels great at first, but you wake up sore and soaked in regret.”
A slow-burning romance with the elementary school principal adds to the humor of the story as Margot finds herself in the unknown territory of grown-up relationships. Kyle, the sexy town widower, is unsure himself if he is ready for any sort of relationship and sends some conflicting messages. His two children take precedence over everything. Harper takes her time developing their romance, addressing the various issues affecting them both with humor, honesty, and some very sweet and gentle loving. I did feel the romance was more of a plotline to further Margot’s growth and healing than an actual self sustaining strong storyline however it works well with the overall tone of the story.
The supporting characters add energy and yes, even MORE laughter as Margot tries to find her footing on this new path life has sent her down. Her family are a mischievous close-knit bunch who love her unconditionally and prove over and over that they will always have her back. She is a McCready and they will never let her forget that.
“Tell you what. If anyone asks where me and Duffy are tomorrow, tell them we are on an all day charter and don’t offer any extra details.”
“So we have an alibi when that snotty bitch’s office burns down.”
Margot finds strength and acceptance in her family, discovering that any lack of perfection, not a crime as taught by her mother.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a boisterous romantic comedy that gives readers the southern small town experience from the comforts of home. Overflowing with laughter, love, family, and a pinch of and bittersweet nostalgia, fans of Harper are sure to enjoy her latest adventure. I’m looking forward to book two, Ain’t She a Peach?, set to release June 12, 2018.