Book Review: Home to Chicory Lane

3 Sep

769691Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

 

 

DRaney-254Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deborah on the web at DeborahRaney.com.

 

My Impressions:

Deborah Raney is a favorite author of mine. I love her writing style as well as the realistic characters she creates. Real life circumstances bring out the best and worst in her characters just as it does in us. But her overall faith message gives the situations and the reader hope. You will find all of that in the first book in a new series, Home to Chicory Lane.

An empty-nester, Audrey Whitman has just achieved her dream of turning her family home into a bed and breakfast inn. She and her husband, Grant, have sacrificed to come to this point, and she is worried about failure. The shiny wears off the dream quickly as she deals with fussy guests and the return of youngest daughter Landyn. Newlywed Landyn is hurt by her husband’s decisions that bypassed her. So when she shows up unexpectedly at the inn, her future seems very uncertain.

Home to Chicory Lane is a family drama. The large Whitman family is featured here and in future books in the series. Being an empty-nester myself, I enjoyed the interaction between Audrey and her husband as well as the struggle of parenting adult children. Audrey is in transition, balancing the support of an adult child with allowing personal choice and freedom. Landyn’s character is extremely annoying at first. Her immaturity grated on my nerves. But at the end of the book, she has grown. Raney also explores the importance of hopes and dreams in relation to God’s will and purposes. Some of God’s direction just doesn’t make sense, but we need to trust that He is in control.

Overall, I liked Home to Chicory Lane. It was a bit slow in places, but towards the end I was turning the pages as fast as I could. I also want to know more about the other children in the Whitman family, so I am eagerly awaiting book 2.

Recommended

Audience: Adults

(Thanks to Abingdon and LitFuse for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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