Skip to main content

Features

Laura Lee Smith, author of Heart of Palm

Utina, Florida is a small, down-at-heels southern town about to meet the tide of an economic growth that it hasn't seen in decades. The Bravos, a local family held together in equal measure by love, unspoken blame, and tenuously brokered truces, have been complacent with the stagnant ways of the sleepy town. So when opportunity knocks, tempers ignite, secrets are unearthed, and each of the Bravos is forced to confront the tragedies of their shared past.

End-of-the-Year Contest 2013

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 End-of-the-Year Contest! One Grand Prize winner received all 36 of Carol Fitzgerald's Bookreporter.com Bets On picks from 2013, while 36 others won a copy of one of these titles. You can see all the winners below, along with 2013's Bets On selections.

Week of April 7, 2014

Releases for the week of April 7th include BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS, the National Book Award winner from Katherine Boo, who tells the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport; THE KILL ROOM, Jeffery Deaver's 10th thriller starring former NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme; LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED, book #10 in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, which finds Maisie investigating the murder of Indian immigrants in London; and TAPESTRY OF FORTUNES by Elizabeth Berg, in which four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates and fortunes.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith

April 2013

I love reading big family dramas, probably because my own family is small and has so little drama. In HEART OF PALM, a debut novel from Laura Lee Smith, we have plenty of big family drama. Here we meet the Bravos, who live in Utina, Florida, a small southern town on “the other side of prosperity.” It was once known for its Palm Sunday palms, but we know how that market has faded away. The town is faded too, and the people there are going through the motions. But the town is primed for the big time with a land deal that could completely change things --- but it all hinges on the Bravos’ next move. Will they sell to allow the big-time marina to come to town bringing in out-of-town big money?