I recently had the pleasure of chatting with a favorite author at a conference, and it's made me want to share one of her books with ACLD readers. With Spring right around the corner, it's the perfect time to check out Mary Kay Andrews' Spring Fever, available in both print and downloadable audio.
Mary Kay Andrews, a pseudonym for Kathy Hogan Trocheck, is a native of St. Petersburg, and is well-known as the creator of many sassy, southern women. A former journalist who currently lives in Atlanta (with a slight diversion to Raleigh, NC), Kathy began her novelist career with a series of mysteries written under her own name. But several years ago, using a pen name derived from the names of her children, she began creating characters described as southern women with an attitude. Annajane Huggins is no exception.
The setting of Spring Fever is a small town in North Carolina that revolves around a soft-drink manufacturing plant (some of you may recognize Quixie as a fictionalized Cheerwine, developed in the real life NC town of Salisbury). Having been divorced from Mason for five years, Annajane is as surprised as anyone to find herself sitting in the church at his wedding. As you might expect, nothing goes as planned, and Annajane finds herself wondering if leaving Mason was a mistake.
The first third of the book has a lot of flashbacks and background, and it made me a little impatient to get back to the present and move forward. But once we got going, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Pascoe, NC. The advantage to the slow build is that the relationship between Annajane and Mason seems real and understandably complex. Andrews provides an eerily accurate description of what hard work relationships are as we watch Annajane and Mason struggle to define exactly who they are to each other. MKA is a master at including witty, bright, and fun supporting characters, including the irrepressible Pokey, Annajane’s best friend, who just happens to be Mason’s sister, and perfectionist Celia, Mason’s fiancee with a thing or two up her sleeve.
The narration of the audio is especially well-done, even Mason’s daughter Sophie, and I often don’t like how narrators play the roles of little children. Whether you read or listen to Spring Fever, you’re about to enter a town you’ll never want to leave.