About the book:
Jo-Lynn Hunter is at a crossroads in life when her great-aunt Stella insists that she return home to restore the old family house in sleepy Cottonwood, Georgia. Seeing the project as the perfect excuse for some therapeutic time away from her self-absorbed husband and his snobby Atlanta friends, Jo-Lynn longs to get her teeth into a noteworthy and satisfying project. But things are not what they seem, both in the house and within the complex history of her family. Was her great-grandfather the pillar of the community she thought he was? What is Aunt Stella hiding? And will Jo-Lynn's marriage survive the renovation? Jo-Lynn isn't sure she wants to know the truth--but sometimes the truth has a way of making itself known. The past comes alive in this well-written and thoughtful novel full of secrets, drama, and family with a hint of Southern drawl.
A lovely story about family relationships.
At odds with her husband and needing a break from work and her life, Jo-Lynn Hunter returns to her family's roots in Cottonwood, Georgia. After her great-uncle's death, her great-aunt Stella asks for Jo-Lynn's help in restoring the family home. As Jo-Lynn begins renovating the old house, she uncovers secrets hidden within its walls and within her own family. As she learns more about her family, she learns about herself and what is really important.
The story alternates chapters with a first-person narrative from Jo-Lynn and flashbacks to her great-aunt Stella's past. The plot was a bit implausible to me: the idea of financiers coming in and buying up a town in order to restore it seemed a bit forced, as well as the hoodlums trying to dissuade Jo-Lynn from restoring the house. But, then again, my experience with dying small towns is extremely limited. Still, I found the story compelling and light on the Christian without being preachy.
Eva Marie Everson captures the essence of the small-town south perfectly: the tight-knit communities complete with weekly church suppers, family roots going back for generations, and the hidden prejudices that haven't completely died out.
An easy, interesting read.
Thanks to Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Eva Marie Everson here. You can purchase your own copy here.
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