Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

I’m planning a little road trip up the east coast the Savannah and Charleston so I decided to immerse myself in some books about the region. Surviving Savannah has appeared in so many book lists lately, I figured I should read it to get some southern flavor. Although I live in Florida, it’s not really “southern” here. It’s rare to find a Florida native these days with so many northerners now living in the state.

I thought I was going to love this book at first, a mix of history with a present day story. But what ended up happening for me, was the historical parts dealing with the sinking of the ship, Pulaski, were interesting and engaging. The present day story of a woman curating an exhibit on the Pulaski turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. I started skimming those pages to get back to the good parts.

I admit that as a writer, I sometimes am very critical of a book that may be a perfectly good story, I just can’t overlook the errors in the craft of writing. My sister has the same issue and started taking notes in order to keep track of the characters as they enter and exit the story. I think taking notes while reading is distracting. We decided maybe we’re getting old and writing styles are changing for a new generation of readers. That may be very true but what’s going to be left for me to read and enjoy if no one cares about writing to engage me and my generation of voracious readers?

There was so much hype for Surviving Savannah and this book didn’t deserve it. With so much meaningless yada, yada, yada, I learned very little about Savannah. I’m not old and I’m not being over critical. I truly tried to keep an open mind since I wanted to learn about this piece of history. This is not a book that was worth the time I invested in reading it. Now I’m back to the drawing board to find a book that can satisfy my yearning for Southern charm.

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