Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Haven on Orchard Lane

It is the middle of the week.  Wednesday has arrived.  I think I have figured out the leak in my kitchen.  It is coming from the air conditioning overflow pan (I am not sure if that is the right term). It is so hot in the attic, the air conditioning is working overtime (more condensation is created).  I am beginning to see why people live in condos and apartments (I am beginning to wish for one). Especially after I spent the afternoon picking up leaves and limbs in the backyard (filled seven trash cans).

A Haven on Orchard Lane is the latest novel by Lawana Blackwell.  Charlotte Ward was an actress until she married Roger Fosberry, Viscount of Spilsby.  Charlotte is desperate to escape his clutches.  Roger is not a kind man and his housekeeper is more like a jailer.  Charlotte receives an invitation to come back to the Lyceum Theater from Mr. Henry Irving (it took some work to get the letter to her).  With a little help, Charlotte escapes one night and heads to London.  Charlotte steps out onto the stage and collapses.  Charlotte needs rest and a safe place to hide from the press.  Rosalind is Charlotte’s daughter from her second marriage (Roger was her third husband).  Rosalind was raised by Aunt Vesta and is now a teacher in Cheltenham.  Rosalind reluctantly heads to London.  Rosalind collects Charlotte and takes her to Port Stilwell to recover.  They rent a house (well, they thought they were getting a whole house) and Rosalind gets Charlotte settled.  Rosalind is hoping she will be able to return to her teaching post soon.  These two have a complicated relationship, but maybe this is there chance for them to get to know each other and mend fences (everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance).  Rosalind soon finds a friend (and maybe more) in Jude Pearce, the local bookseller.  Rosalind and Charlotte find friends in this quaint town and have a chance to help others (like Danny and Albert Fletcher).  But then someone tries to destroy the life they have built.   If you want to know more, you will have to read A Haven on Orchard Lane!

I fell in love with Lawana Blackwell’s novels many, many years ago. I was tickled to see a new book by Ms. Blackwell.  A Haven on Orchard Lane is a lovely, historical novel with a Christian theme (forgiveness, helping others, trusting in God, second chances--just about everyone deserves a second chance except ex-husbands).  The writing is very good, but the pace is a little slow (I also felt the novel was also a wee bit too long).  I liked the characters (they are complex and well developed as well as realistic) and the writer did a great job with describing the locations (London, Fosberry Hall, Port Stilwell, and the bookshop) as well as the historical content.  I give A Haven on Orchard Lane 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  I thought the book was a little flat, but overall a nice book to read on a relaxing afternoon.  A Haven on Orchard Lane is a nice escape book.  A book without violence, foul language, and intimate relations (most book sites do not allow the word sex in reviews).  I will definitely read future books by Lawana Blackwell (I have actually read all her published books). 

Other books by Lawana Blackwell are The Gresham Chronicles and Tales of London (both are great series). I received a complimentary copy of A Haven on Orchard Lane in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

Now that I am completely worn out (I wear out quickly with my Fibromyalgia), I am going to go read and relax.  Big Brother starts tonight (don't judge)!  It is about the only show of its type that I watch.  My father loved it and he talked me into watching it with him.  A new show entitled American Gothic also starts this evening.  I am currently reading Something's Knot Kosher by Mary Marks (it's good so far).  Take care, have a wonderful evening, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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