3.0 out of 5 stars Charleston is the story of the Lizzie (Elizabeth) Tradd and her brother Pinny (Pinckney) Tradd of Charleston, South Carolina and starts just prior to the end of the war. Pinny is injured in battle and returns home with Shad (Joe) Simmons, who the Charlestonians would consider as white trash. Lizzie is still a young girl who keeps every hurt and emotion tightly wrapped inside of her, and Shad is the only one who can break through to her inner self.

The story continues as the Tradd family attempts to recover their home(s) and livelihood in the aftermath of the Civil War, and continues Lizzie’s story into adulthood with a disastrous marriage, childbirth, business successes and failures, a love discovered later in life and a lifelong friendship that might blossom into something more.

Although I greatly enjoyed the historical details and the glimpses into the lives of upper crust of Charleston society, unfortunately the author used a good 2/3 of the book setting up Lizzie’s background and childhood and not enough time on her adult life and loves, and that’s much too long for me. I would have preferred to start Lizzie’s story as an adult and then tell her background via flashbacks. If you’re looking for a fast paced storyline I recommend you search elsewhere, but if you want to sit back a savor a slice of life in 19C Charleston society this might be worth your while. I’m giving this one four stars for the history and look at southern life and two stars for a very slow paced storyline, rounded out to three. Not great, but not bad either.