Heart of Palm
A debut novel that is already winning acclaim from authors and booksellers, Heart of Palm is a warm, witty, assured portrait of one dysfunctional, unforgettable Florida family choosing between the life they know and a lucrative real estate offer that promises to shake everything up. The story opens on a sweltering July day, as Frank Bravo, dutiful middle son, is awakened by a distress call. Frank dreams of escaping to cool mountain rivers, but he’s only made it ten minutes from the family restaurant he manages every day and the decrepit, Spanish-moss-draped house he was raised in, and where his strong-willed mother and spitfire sister—both towering redheads, equally matched in stubbornness—are fighting another battle royale. Little do any of them know that Utina is about to meet the tide of development that has already engulfed the rest of Northeast Florida. When opportunity knocks, tempers ignite, secrets are unearthed, and each of the Bravos is forced to confront the tragedies of their shared past. Reminiscent of Kaye Gibbons, Lee Smith, Anne Tyler, and Fannie Flagg, Heart of Palm introduces Laura Lee Smith as a captivating new voice in American fiction.