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Friday, October 20, 2023

ON MOONBERRY LAKE BY HOLLY Varni


 Delightful! Charming! Full of characters who take up residence in your heart. The best of 'News from Lake Wobegon' and Father Tim combined."--Lauraine Snelling, bestselling author of the Red River of the North series


Cora Matthews's life is a mess. A broken engagement and the unexpected death of her mother have left her wondering if things will ever return to normal. Whatever "normal" is. 

It certainly isn't what she finds at Moonberry Lake. After she receives her family's dilapidated lakefront lodge as an inheritance--with a surprising condition attached--Cora finds her life overrun by a parade of eccentric neighbors who all have something to say 
and something to teach her. 

As Cora works to put her life back together, she must decide if she is willing to let go of the past, open her heart to love, and embrace the craziest version of family and home she could ever have imagined. 


"An uplifting novel about the power of small-town community."--
Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of The Sweet Life

"Rich characters, a delightful setting, and a heartwarming story. You'll love everything about 
On Moonberry Lake!"--Ginny L. Yttrup, Christy Award-winning author of Words

MY REVIEW
Cora may feel alone after a loss but the  quirky people in this town are there to help her. I loved the feeling of “helping neighbors,” in this sweet  clean  story. Cora has been through a lot of changes with the death of her mother, her grandparents and breaking things off with her fianc√©. Now she needs to decide if she is going to start over after inheriting a lakefront lodge. It isn’t exactly in good condition but maybe it is just what Cora needs. 
After being  taken away by her mother when she was only seven, it is hard to be back in Moonberry  Lake.  I really  don’t care for all the fuss after the funeral where everyone gathers to eat. Cora is told that, “ when grieved, we eat. Food is supposed to replace the emptiness in our hearts.”  Cora just wants everyone to leave so she can be alone with her memories. Now she faces a big decision that could change her life. 
I liked the emotional journey the author takes us on as Cora tries to understand what happened between her mother and grandparents. Discovering that  her grandparents passed away later than she thought brings many questions to her. Hurt from not being able to see her grandparents, she need to know the truth. I couldn’t wait to unravel this mystery  and watch Cora find a place she can call home. 
For some reason this story brought  back memories of my own grandparents. I adored them so much and every summer our family would go to their farm and spend two weeks there. It was a beautiful two story house complete with a wraparound porch, cattle, land that  went on forever  chickens running around  the  yard and a windmill that  stood tall. But like Cora one summer we just stopped going. My heart went out to Cora as she replayed her memories in her mind. Yes those were cherished memories we both shared. Our grandparents made us feel loved and wanted. 
There are some great characters in the book which for me made the story come to life. A man who  thinks he can scare Cora off her land, the handy woman who can fix anything to the sweet old lady who takes care of the cemetery. Of course there is San who watches over Cora in a protective  way. All this brings Cora to a realization that maybe she was brought here for a reason. 
I loved how the  story flowed as the author peeled away the pain and rejection Cora has felt after not being able to see her grandparents. Secrets will be revealed along with a deeper sense of belonging and forgiving for Cora. With a bit of romance and finding  a family at last Cora will have to let go of the past in order to start a new beginning. 
I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. The review is my own opinion.


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