Summer in the South (Hardcover)

By Cathy Holton

Ballantine Books, 9780345506016, 352pp.

Publication Date: May 24, 2011



Cathy Holton, author of the popular Beach Trip, returns with an intriguing and mysterious tale of dark deeds and family secrets in a small Southern town.

After a personal tragedy, Chicago writer Ava Dabrowski quits her job to spend the summer in Woodburn, Tennessee, at the invitation of her old college friend Will Fraser and his two great-aunts, Josephine and Fanny Woodburn. Her charming hosts offer Ava a chance to relax at their idyllic ancestral estate, Woodburn Hall, while working on her first novel. 

But Woodburn is anything but quiet: Ancient feuds lurk just beneath its placid surface, and modern-day rivalries emerge as Ava finds herself caught between the competing attentions of Will and his black-sheep cousin Jake. Fascinated by the family’s impressive history—their imposing house filled with treasures, and their mingling with literary lions Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner—Ava stumbles onto rumors about the darker side of the Woodburns’ legacy. Putting aside her planned novel, she turns her creative attentions to the eccentric and tragic clan, a family with more skeletons (and ghosts) in their closets than anyone could possibly imagine. As Ava struggles to write the true story of the Woodburns, she finds herself tangled in the tragic history of a mysterious Southern family whose secrets mirror her own. 

About the Author

Cathy Holton is the author of "Beach Trip," "Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes" and "The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes." She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Praise For Summer in the South

Praise for Cathy Holton’s Beach Trip
“A brilliant, bubbly, bracing novel . . . packed with hilarity and heartache.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“The novel’s wistful tone and serious revelations will set it apart from summer’s lighter fare, while the characters’ witty barbs and beachy setting keep it entertaining.”—Booklist
“Break out the tissues, sunblock and margarita mix as four friends reunite after twenty-three years for a beach party in [this] feast of Southern friendship. . . . Holton refreshes the action with winning humor.”—Publishers Weekly
“A poignant tale of heartbreak and happiness that celebrates the resiliency of women.”—Chattanooga Times Free Press