Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Up at Butternut Lake

Up at Butternut Lake
by Mary McNear

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It's been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she's returned with her five-year-old son.

There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood-best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn't count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford. 

Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability.

Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake…

Kritters Thoughts:  Allie is a young mother who has been widowed due to war and is trying to make a new home for her and her son without the memories that linger in their previous hometown.  She returns to a lake house from her childhood where there are a few people who knew her before this most recent tragedy in her life.  

The minor characters had a story of their own which added to the story, but didn't distract.  The owner of the local diner is a recent empty nester and is really feeling the loneliness without her daughter at home.  Jax is a mom of three with the fourth on the way and has kept a secret from her husband and she must confront this to move her marriage forward.  I enjoyed having these full stories settle within Allie's story.

The one thing that really stuck out with me with this book was the effects that our military families are having as their loved ones are leaving and possibly not coming home again.  At the beginning of this book, I was surprised as to the length of time she had lived without her husband, but the author really helped me realize the length of time it can take for a family to start the processing of finding a new normal.

A predictable romance that didn't surprise me, even when I wanted it to!  I just wanted a twist or a turn that made me excited for the conclusion - the book ended exactly how I thought it would after reading the very beginning.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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