As this novel is a direct continuation of All the Governor's Men, I highly recommend that you read that novel first, if you haven't already done so. Description of that novel below.
As a reminder, Story River Books had Pat Conroy very involved in the books and process, so if a book was published by them, Pat had given it his approval beforehand. I have to think that Pat would know a good book. :)
The Harvard Bride is a sequel to All the Governor’s Men, which concludes with the protagonist Daniel Dobbs preparing to marry his college sweetheart, Caroline Elmore of Mountain Brook, Alabama. Picking up right where the previous novel leaves off, The Harvard Bride opens with a big Southern wedding celebrating the marriage of these two Alabamians and Harvard graduates.
The new bride and the young marriage struggle to find their bearings and establish their footing in Mountain Brook, which demands of Caroline only that she become one of them instead of becoming herself. While she wants to write a novel, her community expects her first and foremost to write thank-you notes for the hundreds of wedding gifts she received. Finishing all those notes along with starting a first novel is hard enough, but she must also fend off assumptions that she will be looking for a first house, getting pregnant with her first child, and joining the Junior League. Meanwhile, her husband has become so caught up in his career as a first-year associate at a major law firm that on many days she hardly sees him.
In the midst of questioning both her marriage and her return to Alabama, Caroline strikes up a friendship with her next-door neighbor, who turns out to be a writer himself. When he also proves to be a kindred spirit, their friendship threatens to become much more. To save herself and her marriage, Caroline accepts a teaching position at her parents’ alma mater, the University of Alabama, and begins commuting to and from Tuscaloosa, the city of her birth. Just when she thinks she has succeeded in putting her personal and professional life together, it all falls inexplicably apart.
Coming August 2016 from Story River Books at the University of South Carolina Press
All the Governor's Men
A Mountain Brook Novel
A political satire that reimagines George Wallace's last run for governor of Alabama
Daniel Dobbs, a twenty-one-year-old Harvard graduate and South Alabama native, is one of many young people who have joined the campaign representing hope and change for a downtrodden Alabama. A political animal himself, Daniel possesses so much charm and charisma that he was nicknamed "the Governor" in college. Now he is engaged in the struggle to conquer once and for all the malignant man Alabamians have traditionally called "the Governor."
This historic election isn't the only thing Daniel wants to win. During his senior year, he fell in love with a freshman girl from Mountain Brook, the "Tiny Kingdom" of wealth and privilege, a world apart from his own Alabama origins. A small-town country boy, Daniel desperately wants to gain the favor of his girlfriend's family along with her mentor, the larger-than-life English teacher Norman Laney. Daniel also wants to keep one or two ex-girlfriends firmly out of the picture. In the course of his summer, he must untangle his complicated personal life, satisfy the middle-class dreams of his parents for their Harvard-educated son, decide whether to enter law school or launch his own political career, and, incidentally, help his candidate defeat George Wallace in a close and increasingly dirty race.