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Book Rec: The River Runs South

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

In her debut novel, Audrey Ingram transports you back to the Mobile Bay – to the Alabama bayou. The River Runs South was a fresh take on love, loss and the courage to start over. It also weaves a timely commentary on Alabama's fragile ecosystem. I loved Audrey's new book, The River Runs South! I wish I had a daughter like Willa. I can’t wait for her next one.

Book jacket of an orange sunset on the Mobile Bay

Book Jacket


When Camille Taylor’s husband dies unexpectedly, the carefully constructed life she worked so hard to build in Washington, DC, shatters. After struggling for almost a year, she reaches a breaking point, packs up her daughter, and heads for the Alabama coast where she grew up.


The salt air and slow rhythms of the coast soothe Camille’s spirit, but when she meets local fisherman Mack Phillips, she learns that things have changed in her hometown. Runoff from an abandoned development site is polluting the water, and Mack has brought a suit against the site’s owners—Camille’s father among them.


Battling her own fears for the fragile ecosystem of her beloved Mobile Bay, Camille joins her father’s defense team, but the more she learns, the more she wonders if she’s landed on the right side of the fight. Meanwhile, Camille is slowly drawn to Mack's fearless resolve, his sterling ideals, and finally to the man himself.


Faced with blurred lines between right and wrong, Camille must decide for herself what the next chapter of her life will bring.


Discussion Guide

  1. The novel adeptly delves into the ecological and political challenges facing coastal Alabama. Did you know about these issues beforehand?

  2. How does Alabama get a second chance in the novel?

  3. Which mother-daughter relationship did you relate to?

  4. Have you ever experienced grief? How have you dealt with it? Any parallels to Camille’s journey?



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