Thank you to Angela Correll’s publicist for sending along Grounded. It came along following my finishing some fairly heavy reads, so, having a nice, refreshing read like Grounded came along at just the perfect time.
Synopis: New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded, putting a halt to weekends in Rome and her jet-setting lifestyle. Soon her noncommittal boyfriend’s true nature is revealed, and to top it all off, she loses her apartment.
With nowhere else to go, Annie leaves the city for the family farm in Kentucky, a place she’s avoided for years. She finds a shotgun-wielding grandmother, a farm in disrepair, and a suspicious stranger renting the old stone house.
The country quiet haunts Annie with reminders of a past that can’t be changed. She tries persuading her grandmother to sell the farm, but is met with stubborn refusal? Yet in the midst of her crashing life, Annie sees a glimmer of hope for a second chance.
Jake Wilder is contemplating jumping off the corporate ladder to follow his passion for sustainable farming. He’s almost ready to propose to Camille, a girl who wants more, not less. Annie believes Jake is about to make a terrible mistake, but does she have the right to tell him?
As the summer heats up, so do Annie’s unexpected feelings for Jake and her interest in the land. When a sudden phone call comes from New York, Annie is forced to choose between coming to terms with her past or leaving it all behind. (From Goodreads)
Originally I wasn’t too sure how I would react to Grounded, again, I had just finished a few hefty tomes covering heavy topics in some, so would a “woman’s contemporary” novel appeal at this moment? Correll’s novel has been touted to appeal to Southern fiction (yes) fans of contemporary fiction. Perhaps Grounded was just the novel I needed to read at the moment. And I truly have to tell you, it was! I felt immediate affection for Annie and her story. Correll has written a very endearing novel with very endearing characters. For instance, Annie’s love for her Grandfather is written with wonderful and genuine love that pulls at your heartstrings.
Annie hasn’t been back to the family farm since her Grandfather’s death and instead prefers to live the jet-set lifestyle in Manhattan, with a jet-set romance with her boyfriend Stuart and loving the life as a flight-attendant with frequent trips to Rome. However, on one fated flight she learns the heart-breaking truth about Stuart, also learns she has lost her job and has now fled home to the farm. Here is where Annie sees what a struggle it has become for her Grandmother, Beulah and the realization that Beulah and Annie are all that is left of her family. As she becomes more and more involved in caring for the family farm and for her Grandmother, Annie’s need to break away and return to Manhattan recede considerably. There is also the matter of her feelings for her childhood friend Jake as well. Does she have stronger feelings for Jake, and wouldn’t these feelings keep her tied more and more to the farm?
Grounded is a nice easy-going read where the pages turn effortlessly as you follow Annie along through to her life-altering decisions. It’s a book that truly makes you take a step back and realize the importance of easier, slower living. It was an excellent read at just the right time. Correll has gifted the reader with wonderful characters that are wonderfully developed and easily to attach yourself to their stories. I enjoyed it quite a bit. On the back cover is a quote from Rick Dees, radio personality (remember Rick Dees? I do!) that sums up the book quite nicely:
Reading Angela Correll’s Grounded will take you to a special place surrounded by the fragrance of honeysuckle and warm southern sun. With each page, you’ll be reminded that “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”