The Hideaway

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  “A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

“Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author.

Ope’s Opinion: My review will not do justice to this wonderful book.  It had everything I wanted in it – amazing characters, an awesome story with a few twists, and an ending that was very satisfying. 

I liked the dual narrative that let you see the past ( Mags ) and the present ( Sara ).  Each of them had a story that centered around family.  Part of the story is about fixing up an old house – I really enjoyed that part as well.

This was the kind of book that I curled up with and didn’t want to leave until the last word was read.  I enjoyed each moment with these characters.  I have another Lauren K. Denton book on my shelf and I will read it as soon as possible.

 

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Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story is told from three perspectives.  Betsy – the older, stable sister; Ty – Betsy’s husband and Jenna – the artistic sister with two children.  The chapters are clearly marked and the voices are distinct.

The characters are well developed, likeable and realistic.  In a small way, I felt like the hurricane was another character in the book.

The story was a constant build to the very end.  All the questions weren’t answered, things were not all wrapped up in a nice bow, but it was a satisfying ending.