Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review: The Hideaway

Title: The Hideaway
Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: 11 April 2017 by Thomas Nelson
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 5 cups


When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did 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 her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’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 Sheetrock 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 Mags’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.

My Thoughts

“The Hideaway was always full of friends and lovers, mothers and daughters, secret keepers and secret spillers, straight talkers and soft shoulders. We had hurt and we had joy, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

What a fantastic and pleasant read this turned out to be! I really loved this book with it’s charm literally oozing off the pages. A tale of  two intertwined stories about life, love and the journey of self discovery in a search for peace. It is a book you will want to get lost in.

“You should let your hair down more often. You’re much more fun to be around when you’re not working so hard to keep all those balls up in the air. Let one fall now and then.”

There is a great cast of characters and you will be transported to the lovely setting of Sweet Bay, Alabama. Lauren Denton’s writing here is wonderful, as you are immersed in both stories revolving around women you really begin to care about. Lauren so easily bridges the gap from past to present, with heartwarming tales centred around family and friendships. Add a little romance, some hidden secrets and some rather compelling senior citizens, and it all melded into a wonderful read. There are no great shocks here, but rather a gentle, warm and highly engaging read that affirms the important things in life.

If you are in the mood for something light and uplifting, then ‘The Hideaway’ will fulfill your need. It is not sickly sweet and at times rather funny. The romance does not dominate which is nice, as Sara is on a quest to unearth old family secrets - just exactly who was her grandmother? The flashbacks to Mag’s perspective in the 1960s, and what initially bought her to The Hideaway and more importantly, what makes her stay, are genuine and real. In the present day, you will find yourself rallying behind Sara as she sets about restoring a house that is rather special.

“The house was warm and comfortable, if not magazine-ready, but no one living there really cared about that anyway. I loved that the place was a little off-kilter, and the quirkiness only solidified its charm.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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