Title: The Hideaway
Author: Lauren K. Denton
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Description from Goodreads: “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.”
Review: Heartwarming yet heartbreaking, this book is one I won’t soon forget. I was drawn into this book right away and the pages kept flying by way too fast. As I closed the last page I felt like I had lost some dear friends and a wonderful little town.
These characters were so vastly different and yet so alike that it was such a treat to read. Seeing Sara find parts of herself within her grandmother warmed my heart and, at times, gave me goose bumps. It is so easy to just see our grandparents as they are when we know them, but we rarely seem to look beyond the present and try to truly get to know who they were when they were younger, what made them the way they are today. We seem to get more curious with our parents but let our grandparents be as they are now. By peeling back the layers of Mags, Sara was able to not only connect with and understand her grandmother in a way she never could before, she also learned a whole lot more about herself.
This is not a Christian Novel; there is infidelity, little mention of God, and more emphasis on the characters and their lives than the faith. If you aren’t a fan of Christian novels, you’re safe here. Don’t let the fact that this is published by Thomas Nelson fool you, there really isn’t anything about this book that is Christian.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*