by Barbara Josselsohn
Publication Date July 2, 2021
Published by Bookouture
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Genres: Contemporary, Family & Relationships, Family Life, Fiction
She held the letter that she had found in the garden, and noticed the distinctive curls of her father’s handwriting etched on the worn paper. Her life had already been turned upside down by one family secret, would his last words force her to leave her childhood home forever?
When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows fate is calling. Dropping everything at her office in Chicago, she knows she is the only person who can save the garden.
Caroline and her daughter Lee are welcomed home by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in saving her mother’s legacy, when she meets handsome historian Aaron. As she gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.
But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. And soon the real reason Aaron is in Lake Summers comes to light. Will the truth about the people she loves force her to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart? An utterly uplifting and heart-warming story about forgiveness and family. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Debbie Macomber and Mary Alice Monroe.
This is another uplifting, and heartwarming book about small-town life, families, and friendship. It’s perfect for a light summer read, and you’ll fall in love with the small town of Lake Summers and the townsfolk who inhabit it.
Caroline is content with the life she carved out for herself and her seventeen-year-old daughter, Lee, in Chicago, working for Caroline’s aunt and uncle in their textile business. Caroline had never gone back to Lake Summers, but has fond memories of living there with her parents, until their untimely deaths when she was a child. Her memories include living with her mother’s best friend, Maxine, and her two boys Jackie and Ben until her Aunt took her back to Chicago to live with her and her Uncle.
When Caroline receives a message saying the town of Lake Summers is going to destroy her mother’s Lily Garden in order to expand the library, Caroline knows she must return to fight for her Mother’s legacy. So, instead of the two-week college tour, she planned with her daughter, she takes Lee to Lake Summers to reunite with Maxine, and fight for the Lily Garden her mother loved.
This book is set in a delightful small town, full of quirky, but realistic characters. I like the way the author explores the mother-daughter relationship between Caroline and Lee, and uses Caroline’s surrogate mothers, Maxine, and Aunt Risa, as examples of motherhood. She explores the complex relationships of parent and child both by birth and parents by circumstance.
The story was well-paced, and the romance was sweet and realistic. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet summer romance with a mother-daughter relationship.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.