Hurricane Season

Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton
Published by Thomas Nelson on April 3rd 2018
Pages: 352
ISBN: 071808425X
Buy on Amazon
three-stars

Marriage. Sibling Relationships. Motherhood.

Jenna and Betsy are sisters who took different paths in life. Betsy is married to Ty and lives on their farm in Alabama. Betsy, who longs for a child of her own, keeps busy on the farm hosting local school students on field trips to learn about farming and animals. Jenna is the free spirit and single mother of two young girls. She works in a coffee shop but yearns to be a photographer professionally.

Jenna leaves her children with her sister Betsy after accepting an invitation to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida. Having her nieces around, Betsy is reminded of what she doesn’t have – children. As a Hurricane is making way toward land, Ty and Betsy enjoy the children’s company but tension, like the coming storm, begins to brew around them.

At the retreat, Jenna thinks of what might have been and dreams of her future. Can her dream be realized? Can she become a professional photographer? Will she have to sacrifice anything to obtain her dream?

It all boils down to communication. Betsy and Jenna needed to communicate better with each other. Both had issues and concerns in her life but never shared those with her sister. Betsy and Ty were living together but had a chasm of longing for a child between them. Betsy kept her longing and sadness bottled up inside.

The characters in this book are dealing with real life issues that many face – single motherhood, the stress of supporting a family, sibling bonds/relationships, infertility, Motherhood, following one’s dreams, marriage, and coping with Mother nature. I enjoyed the farm life and reading about how the young girls enjoyed being around the farm animals, but there was just a little bit of something missing in this book for me. For a book which dealt with many issues, it felt a little bland for me. It was still an enjoyable read but I would have liked a little more oomph or drama perhaps. Everyone was very polite while dealing with their issues. I enjoyed Betsy and Ty’s story-line much more than Jenna’s. I found myself wanting Jenna’s part to hurry up, so I could get back to the farm and learn if Betsy and Ty had settled the storm which was brewing between and within them. I also found that I wanted a little bit more about the Hurricane itself. I found it interesting that the cows were safer in a back field during a hurricane than in the barn.

Overall, an enjoyable book about relationships, following your dreams, second chances and hope.

three-stars

The Hideaway

The HideawayThe Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
Published by Thomas Nelson on April 11th 2017
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0718084225
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

This is a beautifully written debut novel (hard to believe it is a debut novel) which pulls at the heartstrings.

When Sara is informed that her grandmother “Mags” has passed away she returns home to Sweet Bay, Alabama to “The Hideaway” her grandmother’s B&B where Sara spent her childhood. Sara is there for a reading of her grandmother’s will. She hopes to stay a couple of days and return to her life and store in New Orleans. But when the will is read, Sara learns that her grandmother has left the Hideaway to her. It makes sense, she is the last remaining relative. Her grandmother asks that she renovate the B&B however she likes and wants Sara to reside there during the renovations.

While there, Sara learns that there was more to her eccentric grandmother than she ever knew. You think you know someone right? Her grandmother raised her after her parent’s death. Sara thought she knew everything there was to know about Mags. She remembers Mags as always being old. But what she learns when she finds an old key under a bench, is that her grandmother was a woman with secrets, with passion and a woman who once had to make a very difficult choice.

Through the course of the book, the reader also gets to see Mags backstory. We get to see a glimpse into her life, her thoughts, her love, her pains and her heart breaking decision. Mags was my favorite character. She did what she wanted and stood up for herself. She allowed her staff to live at the Hideaway and they all became like family.

Both women in this book are likable and endearing. This is a story about family, lost love, found love, a home with a history, and choices. It is well written and endearing. This is the perfect book to read on a cozy day. It’s neither too heavy nor too light. I enjoyed the characters and the story. Overall, a heartwarming (and at a time heart-breaking) story about love, loss, choices, secrets, family, friends, and what it means to find your home!

four-stars