I was introduced to Lauren K. Denton a couple of years ago when someone mentioned her covers as being especially lovely and I agreed. I bought and read and enjoyed her novels HURRICANE SEASON and THE HIDEAWAY. I heard her talk about her new release, A PLACE TO LAND, and managed to snag an advance reader’s copy.
Trudy and Violet Figg are sisters living in Sugar Bend, Alabama, a small town along the banks of Little River. A traumatic night 40 years ago robbed Trudy’s voice and cost Violet love and happiness, but they’ve built a life and they’re content with their lives. Trudy creates art from found objects and Violet runs their small gift shop and counts birds.
Maya, a young adult fresh from the foster care system, lands in Sugar Bend and in the Figg sisters’ lives. As the river reveals secrets Violet would rather it keep, Maya blossoms under Trudy’s attention and care.
A PLACE TO LAND is full of secrets (I used it to meet a reader challenge I’m doing for 2022. October’s book is a “Family Secret” story.) It’s also a very Southern book. I could feel the humidity of the summer and taste the brackish air. There’s a little bit of magical realism woven throughout, with the recurring pelicans and another element I don’t want to give away.
Denton did a great job doling out the details of that night so long ago and threading together the various sub-plots. I enjoyed this one a lot, and I’ll continue to read both her backlist and new releases.
I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley, but it did not induce me to review it, favorably or not.
Wow, have I neglected my blog! Time has flown since the last time I posted. I’ll do much better. Or at least I’ll try, from here on out. I read so many great books, I should be posting here all the time about them, not just the ones I get free copies of. But that’s the rut I’ve fallen into. Sigh.
HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS is the newest offering from Susan Mallery in her Wishing Tree, Washington series. We haven’t been to Wishing Tree since last year’s The Christmas Wedding Guest. (Reggie and Dena are doing great, by the way!)
Camryn Neff left her life in Chicago to come back to Wishing Tree to take care of her dying mother and twin teenage sisters. Her mom has been gone a year now, and the three Neff ladies are healing and finding happiness again. Camryn is just marking time though until the twins start college and she can resume her old life in Chicago. Until her plans are derailed by a local woman’s plan to marry off her son and get some grandchildren.
River Best is new to Wishing Tree and while she’d like less snow and warmer temps, she’s enjoying her new home and new friends. She resolves to get more involved in the community so her friends nominate her for Snow Queen. She’s alternately terrified and gratified to be chosen. The one thing that helps is her Snow King. Dylan Tucker is kind and considerate and she could see herself falling for him. Until she discovers his secret.
Wishing Tree is the town we all want to visit at Christmas time and this book got me ready for hot chocolate and cookies and snuggling by the fire. After not loving Mallery’s last book, I’m so glad I truly loved this one. All the characters could be my friends. I’d shop at Wishing Tree’s charming stores and eat at the restaurants. There’s also a cute dog sub-plot. If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas read, I highly recommend HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS!
As a bonus, Susan Mallery is giving away a Christmas Cookie Cookbook on the Wishing Tree website. I downloaded it and it’s full of scrumptious looking recipes.
I received a free copy of the book, but it did not induce me to review it, favorably or not.