Cora Matthews's life is a mess. A broken engagement and the unexpected death of her mother have left her wondering if things will ever return to normal. Whatever "normal" is.
isn't what she finds at Moonberry Lake. After she receives her
family's dilapidated lakefront lodge as an inheritance--with a
surprising condition attached--Cora finds her life overrun by a
parade of eccentric neighbors who all have something to say and
something to teach her.
As Cora works to put her life back together, she must decide if she is willing to let go of the past, open her heart to love, and embrace the craziest version of family and home she could ever have imagined.
You can read an excerpt here.
This novel was a pleasure to read. The characters are what make it fun and there are plenty of them. There are oddballs who made me laugh. There are older ones who have amazing insights into life. There are sweet neighbors who are more than willing to help Cora and a really grouchy one who wants her gone. There is the colorful history of the area to learn and personal secrets to uncover. There is a potential romance suitably hampered by heart breaking misunderstandings. The plot centers around the idea of being independent verses allowing others to see our needs. Allowing others to help us may just be what gives meaning to their lives.
This pleasant novel is vague on Christian faith, however. There are references to broader spiritual experiences than one might expect in a novel from a long time Christian publisher. Varni also includes the common plot point of an unexpected storm to spice up the action. Other than that, an enjoyable novel. Varni's writing style is engaging and I'll be looking for more from her.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Holly Varni is a native Minnesotan of strong Norwegian descent, who was raised in the Lutheran Church that Garrison Keillor made a career depicting. Between the lutefisk, grumpy grandparents, and crazy neighbors who mowed their lawn wearing pajamas, the seed to becoming a storyteller was planted. Though she, her husband, and their three sons live along the Central Coast of California, her beloved Midwest roots continue to haunt everything she writes. She hosts the Moments from Moonberry Lake podcast where she shares more stories of her beloved characters. Learn more at www.hollyvarni.com. Photo Credit: Melissa White Photography
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)