Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.
Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?
It’s always fun to kick off a new series with a favorite author, but when the series includes a big family, a varied cast of characters, humor, and drama, you know you’re beginning an epic book journey. That’s what you’re getting on Chicory Lane – a realistic family embroiled in one mess after another, sometimes of their own making, that loves and laughs and doesn’t hide behind a mask. You’ll see it all and in it, you’ll know that God is there in the mess even when your own life is falling apart.
That’s certainly what happened to Landyn, and quite frankly, so much of her mess was of her own making that I spent most of the book wanting to shake her. She’s likeable and smart, but boy, does she ever have a lot to learn! The best part about the book is that she does – wise up, I mean. She learns to trust and make better choices, but she makes a few lou-lous along the way – which both ups the drama and adds some humor, too.
The Whitman family certainly has their hands full, and Landyn has several other siblings, too, all with their own issues. The wide cast of characters and Raney’s expansive, all-encompassing writing style reminds me of Karen Kingsbury’s early stories with the Baxter family. Home to Chicory Lane has that same feel, and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.