“Miss Julia Weathers the Storm,” by Ann B. Ross

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard

Ann B. Ross, New York Times bestselling author of the “Miss Julia” series, returns with the eighteenth installment, Miss Julia Weathers the Storm.

And like the seventeen books before, this comic southern tale makes for great summer reading as protagonist Miss Julie battles a hurricane during a trip to the beach with friends and family.  What washes ashore delivers menacing strangers seeking lost treasure and the possibility of a philandering husband.  Miss Julia springs into action, as she protects an innocent child and a longtime friend.

Well-loved characters from the series return with their assigned roles as Miss Julia’s generous and fun-loving husband, Sam, introduces the idea of a beach vacation with a household of friends and family bonding on sand and shore.  Practical and strong-willed Miss Julia immediately senses it might not be the best vacation as she envisions sand in everything, not to mention the sunburnt, complaining guests and lack of privacy amidst the clan.

Sam convinces her in his good-natured way and includes in his invitation the longtime housekeeper, Lillian.  Lillian declines, but her great-granddaughter, Latisha, joins the group and provides antics that only a six-year-old can on vacation. Returning characters Julia, the Pickens Family, the Bates Family, LuAnne, and Etta Mae complete the line-up, making for a true and full Southern gathering.

As everyone settles into their place at the vacation home, a storm threatens, foreshadowing the coming trouble for the little group as Latisha discovers that the storm has washed seashells and valuable treasure upon the shore.

Strangers are seen on the beach and introduce themselves to the group.  Miss Julia discovers there’s more to them than meets the eye as she watches them following her group back to Abbotsville.  The strangers threaten Latisha; they want what she has found on the beach.  As the plot thickens, Miss Julia finds her longtime friend LuAnne and husband Leonard are having marital problems.  Is Leonard cheating on LuAnne?

Intelligent and determined, Miss Julia comes to the rescue.  All is resolved in a satisfying, charming way—true to the character of Miss Julia.

Readers are left waiting for book nineteen.  They are, of course, loyal fans of Miss Julia because Ross’s writing constantly resounds themes of faith, family, and friends.  All is well in Miss Julia’s world, a microcosm in which readers themselves may take a vacation.  Here, no matter what threatens or disheartens, all will eventually be straightened out and sorted properly.

Miss Julia weathers the storm, indeed, with wit, charm, and grace.

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