The Last Carolina Girl

Thank you, Sourcebooks, for the gifted copy of The Last Carolina Girl {partner}.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: 📖
Pub Date: 2.28.2023
Star Rating: ☆☆☆.5


“Some folks will do anything to control the wild spirit of a Carolina girl…

For fourteen-year-old Leah Payne, life in her beloved coastal Carolina town is as simple as it is free. Devoted to her lumberjack father and running through the wilds where the forest meets the shore, Leah’s country life is as natural as the Loblolly pines that rise to greet the Southern sky.

When an accident takes her father’s life, Leah is wrenched from her small community and cast into a family of strangers with a terrible secret. Separated from her only home, Leah is kept apart from the family and forced to act as a helpmate for the well-to-do household. When a moment of violence and prejudice thrusts Leah into the center of the state’s shameful darkness, she must fight for her own future against a world that doesn’t always value the wild spirit of a Carolina girl.”


“Truth be told, I remember most things about that day, as typical as it was until it wasn’t anymore.”

The Last Carolina Girl explores one (of many) deeply disturbing parts of our country’s history. It takes a hard look at the mistakes of our past and the consequence that those mistakes had on innocent lives. It’s a heartbreaking and traumatic story from start to finish, and while it did have moments of happiness, it was ultimately tragic because it is based on actual events.

I know that The Last Carolina Girl was blurbed for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing, but, in my opinion, I don’t see the comparison. They both deal with a young child who is essentially orphaned, but the two books are considerably dissimilar. Again, just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

I recommend reading the author’s note of The Last Carolina Girl before reading the book – it will give away a crucial part of the story, but I believe the author’s note makes the story have a more meaningful impact.

👧🏽 Coming-of-Age
🤏🏼 Short but impactful
💨 Ending felt a tad rushed
😡 State Eugenics
📝 Read the author’s note

I recommend reading The Last Carolina Girl if you enjoyed reading Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain or Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

Format: 304 pages, paperback
Published: February 2023
ISBN 9781728257150 (ISBN10: 1728257158)

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