I met Alice J. Wisler last month at a local book signing. She’s a Carolina girl and was delightful to talk to. I also had the pleasure of meeting her boxer pup, Levi. According to her newsletter, Literary Lyrics, he’s become such a hit in her house she decided to also give one of the characters in her upcoming book a boxer. That novel, A Wedding Invitation, is due to release in the fall of 2011.
While standing at her table, I debated which book to buy. She has three inspirational novels out: Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, and Hatteras Girl. I chose the latter, mostly because I liked the title. She put her “Alice J. Wisler” on it for me and I carried it home.
I’ll be honest. When I opened to the first page of Hatteras Girl, I literally groaned. I prefer my stories to be told in third person, past tense rather than first person, present. However, it didn’t take many pages to find myself lost in Jackie Donovan’s, sometimes heartbreaking, but most often humorous attempt to realize her dream of running an Outer Banks bed and breakfast while also searching for Mr. Right.
From quirky co-workers, to disastrous dates set up by well-meaning but dating-game inept relatives, a man who isn’t all he seems to be and one who is more than he seems, and a grieving best friend and her son, Jackie struggles to balance the demands of others with her own life’s desires.
Alice has given a number of her characters homespun names. Jackie has an Aunt Sheerly who owns a beauty shop, an Uncle Ropey who makes a living by knotting the rope from sailboats into crafts sold to tourists. Irvy, Lona, Tiny, Beatrice Lou… Tell me those don’t get the Southern juices flowing.
She did a fine job of making the love interest in the book both attractive and slimy enough that the reader waffles between hoping Jackie ditches him to wondering if he’s as bad as he comes across. As the Hatteras girl learns, sometimes God answers prayer by opening our eyes to what is right under our noses.
Overall, Hatteras Girl was a fun romp along the beach. I don’t know what the next novel is about, but being one who gets involved with a book’s characters, I’m hoping Alice will tell us Minnie’s story at some point.
I have received no compensation for this post and have no material connection with any product(s) mentioned. Embedded links are strictly for the convenience of my readers.