Cover Image: Learning to Speak Southern

Learning to Speak Southern

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Member Reviews

I so enjoyed this book! It drew me in and I was done! I loved the family drama side of it! Very interesting and intriguing. 
The characters felt real and I totally connected with them. 
The story I just absolutely loved and enjoyed diving deeper into Memphis and Lex's story! 
Thank You NetGalley Sourcebooks Landmark and author for this beautiful ebook copy!
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Learning to Speak Southern 
Lindsey Rogers Cook
June 1, 2021

Alexandra Henry was the only child of Margaret Henry and her father, Dennis.  Margaret was arrogant and nasty, always trying to make her plan one for Lex and Dennis to follow.  After college and her parents death, Lex traveled around the world to different locations teaching English to students.  She is a linguist. She knew many different languages, studied them.  Her past times were caught up in word and word meanings.  Her mother’s best friend through high school, Cami was a strong surrogate parent in her life.  When she and Margaret argued, Lex would run off to live with Cami.  Her father would come to settle things.  He would always maintain that her mother only wanted the best for her.  When Lex came home from her stint abroad, her plans were to move into Cami’s home and hunt for work in Memphis.  It wasn’t her favorite place.  The odd ways that people expressed their views annoyed her but she would need to work through it.  Cami welcomed her by bribing her with installments of her mother’s diaries.  
Cook’s literary journal gives us a long, complex view of the Henry family.  Her work is well written although intense and confusing when relating Lex’s struggle and Margaret’s hidden life.  
Learning to Speak Southern by Lindsey Rogers Cook will be published by Donald Maass Literary Agency of Sourcebooks Landmark on June 1, 2021.  Her latest book is a work of literary fiction.  I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read and review Learning to Speak Southern via NetGalley.  My review is my opinion and I encourage readers who enjoy works of women’s fiction to read this novel.
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It was very hard for me to get into this book. I found the characters hard to relate to, and the writing was very erratic and confusing. I’m sure others will love it, but it wasn’t a fit for me.
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Never got into it. I tried but the writing is way out there. Never understood where the protagonist was coming from. I know she lost a baby but couldn't go from the onset. . And I hate that. I'm southern and couldn't figure out where this was headed. Maybe I stopped too soon.
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The character development was great. Good story and lots of wonderful surprises. I highly recommend this book!
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I really enjoyed reading this book, the linguistics parts alone had me enthralled. Like our protagonist, Lex, I love language and words. It was so beautiful to read about word origins and meanings in the different languages, I loved learning about them.

What first drew me to this story was the word southern in the title. I am a lover of southern fiction and this book did not disappoint. I liked the format of Lex reading about her mother with a different letter/journal entry every day. I love epistolary novels and these letters were my favourite part of the book. Margaret’s story transported me back in time to another place. I love when books do that. I also appreciated Margaret’s friendship with Cami and how Cami looks after Lex like she is her own. Strong, southern women looking out for each other. 

Lindsey Rogers Cook is a master at developing characters that crawl into your heart and stay. When you get to the end of this book, you really miss these charismatic, quite real people. Ms. Rogers Cook is a gifted writer who knows how to weave in twists and turns that keep the reader captivated to the last page. I highly recommend this clever tale of Lex and her mother and the circumstances that brought about their tenuous relationship.

Thank you so much Sourcebooks Landmark for granting my wish to read this book!
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Perhaps I am biased since I live in TN, but the atmosphere and setting of this story sold me within the first 30 pages or so. I love family dramas/redemptions, and this reminded me a lot of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe (this is a big compliment) in terms of family conflict. I think this will sell extremely well. Eloquent, charming, and a lovely ending.
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I was really excited to read Learning To Speak Southern, being from the south I love anything that has a Southern influence to it. The story is a family drama , which mainly hits on the bond that a mother and daughter have with each other. 
Lex comes back to Memphis after her mother dies and learns several family secrets her mother had kept hidden from her. 

For the most part the story that Lindsey Rogers Cook weaves is excellent, however I still found that the book left me a bit flat. I was not fond of Lex at all, she came off a bit spoilt and whiny. I was much more interested in her mother Margaret's story than I was hers. Lex seemed full of negativity and stereotypes. There were moments however, where the witt of Cook's writing really shined through, I just wish there had been more.
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To be completely honest, this is a book that I thought I would love, but I actually felt pretty let down after reading it. I understand the main character being multilingual, and I could have even loved that, if there hadn't been so many crazy things all jumbled together in this book at the same time. I also didn't appreciate the stereotyping and negativity displayed by the main character. How many American slurs can you throw into one book? Quite a few, apparently. 

Parts of the story were interesting, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to read it. The cover is also quite lovely, but this book just wasn't for me. Please give it a read and draw your own conclusions. The author is witty, and obviously intelligent. The characters were not my thing. 

Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in a complimentary Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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I was intrigued by the premise of this story but it was not what I expected. I know that Lex knew multiple languages but I found the phrases in different languages scattered throughout annoying. Lex was not very likeable and was irritating. Not my type of book.
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As in so many cases I was lured to this book due to the description. However, the book did not live up to my expectations. The writing was very jumbled and hodge podge. The main character suffers a major tragedy in the opening pages and seems indifferent. She’s multilingual but the sprinkles so many different phrases so often it’s a distraction and quite frankly detracted from the story. This one wasn’t for me.
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Learning to Speak Southern is a southern fiction book of family, secrets, and plenty of drama. Lex seems to have had a love/hate relationship with her mother while growing up. She leaves Memphis after the death of her mother and returns several years later. Her mother's childhood best friend Cami tries to keep her to stay in Memphis by giving a letter written by her mother each day.  The truths revealed are life changing. This is a fabulous book. Thanks to the author Lindsey Rogers Cook, publisher SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for  a honest review.
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3.5 stars. Lex has never felt like she belonged with her family, and due to unfortunate circumstances she must return home. “Learning To Speak Southern” is a meditative examination of family relationships, both chosen and by blood. Lex’s love for all languages was a unique and interesting personality trait in a protagonist, and the surprise twist was a real shocker. The story was set in Memphis, which was applied a little unevenly (place name dropping rather than “world-building”, but overall and enjoyable read.
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Lex left Memphis behind to escape the loss of her mother and the memories of their complicated relationship. She traveled the world from Mexico to Bali, following her love of languages and adventure.
Now a new loss brings her back to her hometown and into the waiting arms of her godmother, Cami.
Lex left so abruptly years ago that she has some explaining to do to the people who care about her but she isn’t quite ready to make amends with the hurt and confusion she’s experiencing from both past and present tragedies.

Cami has just the thing to keep Lex in town long enough to confront her losses: letters Lex’s mother Margaret wrote to Cami years ago. She is stunned to find that her mother was once a rebellious teen and aspiring writer with startling secrets that will change not only Lex’s view of Margaret but also re-write both their life stories.

Learning to Speak Southern is a family drama that examines mother/daughter bonds, friendship, the influence of Southern culture, and the resounding effects of family secrets.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Learning to Speak Southern is scheduled for release on June 1, 2021.
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Most families hide secrets from each other; Lexi's family has some doozies! Lex leaves home to avoid the boring life her mother, Margaret, led. She travels to exotic places, teaching English to earn money. Lex is called home to Memphis by her "second" mother, which stirs up many bad memories. We also learn Margaret's secrets, with an unexpected twist at the end. 

I personally liked Margaret's story line better than Lex's. She made some poor choices as a teenager which ended up impacting her dreams. She picked up the pieces and went on with her boring life.

This is a quick read and provides a great feel for life in Memphis. Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of #HowtoSpeakSouthern.
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After experiencing a stillbirth while living abroad, Lex has no choice but to return to Memphis to the home of a long-time family friend, after having fled the city five years earlier to escape her family.  Cami, in an effort to get Lex to stay, offers to give her one letter written by her mother, with whom Lex had a very strained relationship, for each day that she stays.  The letters show Lex unexpected things about her mother's past.  I really enjoyed this.  I especially loved the relationship between Lex and Grant.  4.5 stars rounded to 5.
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This was a family drama full of secrets that Lex discovers later in life.  She has to come to terms with her past and her thoughts of family. It was well written and captivating.  
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I made it 73% of the way through and decided to DNF this book. 

Immediately from the beginning I didn’t like how as a reader, we were thrown into different situations when we had no background information. This carried over throughout when we began reading the mom’s letters and my understanding of what was happening became muddied. As I continued to read, the author did clarify many of those details, but some of them would have been good to know from the beginning. 

I also would have loved it if the author had the mom’s letter/entries labeled with the date that she wrote them. It would have made them seem more authentic.

The biggest struggle I had reading this book was that the only two characters I found likes me were Cami & Grant. 

Favorite Quote:
“Before you judge me, think instead, what would you have done?”

I appreciate the opportunity to read the eARC and hope to pickup the book again one day to finish it.
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Lex runs away from the family/ friends she knows to travel the world. Years have past and a phone call brings her back home.  At times Lex isn’t the easiest person to like and has issues dealing with family. 
 For me it was a fast story, there’s a bit of a surprise towards the end of the book. I enjoyed the book
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the granting my wish of the early copy
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This was an okay read.  I didn't like Lexie all that much.  She seemed winey and a little stuck up.   Lex returns to Memphis as a last resort and is beholden to her godmother for money.  She is searching for answers about her mother and the life she had before she died suddenly. Lex finally discovers a meaning for family as she reads letters and diaries.  I might reread this book someday and see if I missed something. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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