South, by Thera D. Pitts (a review)

Need a good read as the Pandemic plays out? Or a last minute gift suggestion?  We recommend South, by Thera Pitts!

Tracey Meredith, an extremely kind, smart and talented 16 year-old, inhabits the center of Pitt’s debut novel, South.  Upon the death of her  father, Tracey is upended from life as a musician on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.  She lands in the Baldwin Hills household of the Reverend Walter (and her mother), where she now finds she must tread a fine line between her free-wheeling musical instincts and her new family’s disapproval.

This is a fun read, about young adults,  romance,  music, an enfolding community and the vulnerability of unique individuals.   Pitt’s prose sings, the paragraphs are full of contemporary references, and most of the characters are extremely likable.  There is even a nod to Neal Gaiman’s irreverent take on the Book of Revelations.  Above all, this is an intelligent treatment of serious issues young people sometimes face.

 South is appropriately full of music and yes!  there is a playlist available on Spotify!  The story is set in some of Los Angeles’ most iconic places: the Baldwin hills, Venice Beach, Salvation Mountain.  We can’t get there during this pandemic, but it is a pleasure to read about them as the backdrop to Tracey’s story.

Full disclosure:  this is a recommendation for a last minute gift, available through Amazon or at the bookstore, The Book Jewell,
6259 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045
(424) 750-9991

 

Thera Pitts at The Book Jewell during a virtual book launch.

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