Sunday, May 3, 2020

Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Almost Home
Happy Sunday!  On Sunday's I feature books that I was unable to when they were released (usually because I booked too many novels that month).  This is Valerie Fraser Luesse's debut novel.  
Savannah, Georgia. 1939 or 1944. "Davenport tenement, small dwelling, Houston and State streets." 8x10 negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston.
Southern boarding house during 1940s
Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse has Dolly and Si Chandler opening their home to boarders during World War II.  In April of 1944 Anna and Jesse Williams arrive in Blackberry Springs, Alabama and get the last bedroom available at the Chandler home.  Jesse begins work at the local munitions factory which leaves Anna at loose ends and feeling homesick.  Dolly takes Anna under her wing and introduces her to the other ladies in the house as well as the neighborhood women.  Dolly and Si can see that the young couple need a help with their marriage and give them subtle nudges in the right direction.  One day Dolly tells Anna the story behind the original owner of her home.  Anna is intrigued when she learns that no one knows what happened to Catherine and Andrew Sinclair.  She decides to look for the answers and maybe find the missing treasure along the way.  Almost Home is a satisfying Southern novel.  It is well-written with developed characters set in a charming small Southern town.  Dolly Chandler has a gregarious personality.  She is friendly and nurturing.  Dolly and her husband, Si opened their home to help pay the property taxes.  They also have a roller rink across the street with dancing and refreshments and Si is building a pond for people to swim in (for money, of course).  Dolly has a way of making her boarders feel welcome.  There was just one couple who did not fit in and Si soon took care of them (it was a hilarious scene).  I liked the variety of residents in the home.  There are two college professors, a veteran with PTSD, and a widower as well as Anna and Jesse Williams.  There is also Daisy Dupree who becomes close friends with Anna and Lillian the blind woman who lives on the same street.  I enjoyed the mystery of Catherine and Andrew.  We learn what happened to the couple through diary entries.  The search for the so-called missing treasure was great.  I love how Almost Home ended. It is a Christian story with the most important lesson being that God should be a priority in our lives.  We should put Him first and let Him guide us. All the storylines in Almost Home blended together into one lovely, heartwarming story. 
Bomb Factory, 1917
Munitions Factory
Almost Home is available from Amazon* and is available through Kindle Unlimited.  Valerie Fraser Luesse's next novel is The Key to Everything which releases June 2.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of The Farm Stand by Amy Clipston.  It is the second An Amish Marketplace Novel.  I hope you have a restful day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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