Blog Tour: Downtown Green

Today I'm happy to be a stop on Judy Christie's blog tour with Pump Up Your Book! for Downtown Green. After you check out my review, click the banner above to see the whole tour schedule and swing by the other posts.

Downtown Green
Judy Christie
Abingdon Press, 2012

Note: Downtown Green is the fifth book in a series about Green, Louisiana. I somehow managed to miss this detail until I started reading, but thankfully it can be read as a stand-alone.

As Downtown Green opens, the town is just preparing to celebrate the opening of a new bypass loop - one with more opponents than advocates. With a quicker way to get around town, downtown traffic drops off dramatically, with a direct impact on local business. Finding a way to restore downtown Green, Louisiana becomes Lois Craig's new mission (as if running a newspaper and adjusting to being a new mom weren't enough work). Along the way, she finds surprising allies and hits heads with old enemies - and unexpected tragedy - but never wavers. Green has gotten into her blood, and Lois is like a mama bear defending her cubs (or in this case, her town). This premise alone is an interesting read, and Christie does a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters - which results in even more layers to the story, as each player in the cast of characters goes through their own set of misadventures, linking everyone in ways that only happens in small, Southern towns.

What I really, really loved about Downtown Green was the realistic feel. Green, LA could have been any number of small towns in the Deep South - it reminded me of several I have experienced. Everyone knows everybody else's business, and actually cares. The town is more than just a group of people and shops, it's the heartbeat of the community, and as people rally around the common cause, they rediscover existing bonds and forge new ones - both with their town and with each other. Meeting these characters, peeking into their lives, made me want to take a stroll through Downtown and stop to chat with whoever I happened to meet. Well, with almost anyone, some of them I could happily avoid, but you'll have to read about them yourself. These are real characters, flawed but good. They're truly wanting to do what's right for their community and fellow man. There is an element of "God talk" to Downtown Green, but it's gentle and has the same sense of authenticity as the characters and town. This is the Deep South, after all. All in all, an easy read that I think a lot of people can relate to - even if they're not from the South.

Book provided by publisher for review.

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