Mary Kay Andrews returns with another book just begging for a beach chair. SPRING FEVER has it all --- love, broken hearts, forgiveness, a little drama (well, a lot of drama) and, most of all, second chances.
The novel begins in a stifling church at a standing-room-only Southern wedding in Pascoe, North Carolina. Annajane Hudgens and Pokey Bayless Riggs, best friends since age five, are squeezed into a crowded pew waiting for the ceremony to begin. Pokey is pregnant again, and Annajane is counting the days until she leaves Pascoe. As the perfectly coiffed, size 0 bride starts down the aisle, the groom, Pokey’s brother Mason, looks not at her but right back at Annajane, prompting Pokey to loudly stage whisper, “He is so not over you.” Just as Annajane has resigned herself to leaping up and blurting out “I object!,” a little bespectacled flower girl, having reached the altar, drops her bouquet, clutches her stomach, looks at the groom, cries “Daddy!” and passes out.
"Suffice it to say that with the first day of summer looming, and a beach chair or hammock beckoning, there’s no better way to get your summer reading started than by catching a little Spring Fever. You’ll be lost at the first chapter and probably won’t look up again until you finish, having thoroughly enjoyed the escape provided by this excellent summer read..."
Thirty-five-year old Annajane is getting ready to rebrand herself and start over. She is getting off the bus, making a new plan, hitting the road and getting out of Dodge, which in this case is Pascoe, a small town dependent on one industry: Quixie cherry soft drink. The main employer in town since 1922, Quixie is a regional company that has been on the verge of either national breakthrough or small town failure for some time. It is Pascoe’s sole claim to fame and the only lifeline its residents have; most of Annajane’s life has revolved around it.
Annajane’s mother, Ruth, never allowed Quixie in the house. Annajane didn’t know if it was because her father was killed by a drunk driver in a Quixie truck when she was barely two, or if Ruth felt inferior to the Bayless family, always saying “They think they’re better than us and everybody else in town.” Annajane’s wonderful stepfather, Leonard, works at the Quixie plant, but this doesn’t keep Ruth from refusing her daughter the sugary drink; Annajane never even has a sip of the sweet cherry soda until, at age five, she attends Pokey’s birthday party.
The party featured bone china, sterling silver, tiaras and boas for each girl, as well as a special individual bottle of Quixie commemorating the day. Annajane had never tasted anything so delicious in her whole life and quickly drank three bottles. From that day on, Annajane and Pokey were joined at the hip, to the consternation of not only Ruth but also Pokey’s mother, Sally Bayless. Annajane knew she would never measure up to the standards of the elegant, silver-haired woman.
In high school, Pokey got them jobs working at Quixie, and Annajane spent her summers filing, organizing contest entries, and even wearing the Quixie Pixie costume in the local parade. From time to time, Pokey’s brothers, Davis and Mason, would show up on hiatus from college or business school. Annajane and Mason always had an affinity for each other, and at one extremely hot Pascoe parade, he “rescues” her in his C