Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Expected release: Mid April
Category: Contemporary Fiction
Struggling to make ends meet, Ida turns her home into a boarding house and goes in search of used furniture. This quest leads to the Previously Loved Treasures shop and Peter Pennington, a delightfully strange proprietor who anticipates people’s needs.
In addition to bargains, Peter hands out sage advice. When a pocket watch belonging to one of the residents goes missing for a second time he warns of danger—but will Ida’s granddaughter listen and will she heed his advice?
Bette Lee Crosby is a new, to me, author but I’m so glad I was offered an ARC in return for a review. I enjoyed the book very much. Ms Crosby has woven an emotive tale with an interesting and diverse mix of characters which gives a good depth to the story.
Recently widowed and lonely, Ida Sweetwater is desperately searching for her long-lost son, renting out rooms to make enough money to pay the private detective, and finding instead something equally as precious.
The unconventional group of people now living at Ida’s house are forming a kind of family unit, not blood kin but all needing, in one way or another, company and comfort from each other. I love that each of them (apart from one) accepts the others for who they are and are willing to give whatever support, advice or help is needed. As Ida brings more people into her life and home they all have something to add to the dynamics of the story and, with a couple of exceptions, the characters are pleasant and engaging.
“Love turns strangers into family"
Her granddaughter finds in Ida the reciprocal love she’s been looking for and lacking all her life and Ida pours all the love she’s been storing up for her son into Caroline.
I particularly like the unusual Peter Pennington and his wonderful shop. Who is Peter really? How does he know just what Ida and Caroline need almost before they do themselves? A touch of magic to add to a heartening story. Not that it’s all sweetness and light. There’s much more to it, heartbreak and sorrow, drama and a touch of mystery.
There’s always one bad apple in the barrel and Max’s actions put a chain of events into motion that affect everyone to a certain degree. Out of adversity comes blessings though and after a shocking incident everyone pulls together to get things back on track. I like the little twist at the end, it rounds everything off nicely.
About the Author
Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.
Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.
Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid’s Christmas (2012) and What Matters Most (2013). She has also authored “Life in the Land of IS” a memoir of Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.
Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer,
but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”
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