Written by: Katherine Center
Published by: Ballantine Books an imprint of Random House Publishing Group May 7, 2013
Length: 304 pages
Three years after the death of here husband Libby Moran decides she and her two children can longer live with her mother. Her mother is self centered and judgmental, and the hospitality has certainly run thin. Libby’s Aunt Jean lives in small Atwater TX, and has offered her home and a small job to Libby. Jean has a goat farm, and it’s becoming more difficult for her to manage all the work. In a sudden choice on New Years Eve Libby packs up herself and her daughter and son and off she moves them to small town life. Unsure of this decision, Libby takes everything one day at a time. Her mother has never had one nice thing to say about Jean, but to Libby’s surprise Jean’s home is warm and inviting. There is always good food and Jean is sensible and kind. Jean is in fact also the popular in town therapist…who knew southern small towns had the need of therapy, not Libby. Libby also meets the other characters in town, handyman and goat helper OConnor, Jean’s beau, Russ, and his granddaughter Sunshine. Sunshine comes with her own colorful past. While all this change is a journey, it’s a journey that Libby needs to bring out who she is, what she’s been missing, and putting her heart to rest.
From page one where Libby is talking about contacting her husband from the dead this book kept me interested and wanting more. In some ways it’s as if Libby has been acting out the motions of life since her husband Danny died in a horrific car accident. She and her kids are still a mess. Atwater and Jean are like fresh air, new chances and peace. Jean doesn’t give answers when Libby questions her about her kids problems, or the other people in town. She instead gives her tips and hints and open opportunities for Libby to figure it out.
This is the fourth book I’ve read by Katherine Center, and I waited a long time for this one…well worth the wait. Her characters are believable and oh so humanly flawed. Center has captured the small town allure in this book. If you’ve never lived in a town where you can go no where without seeing someone you know, it is a friendly yet often cloying place, but for Libby she learns a sense of safety and comfort. It allows her to focus on a bigger picture of her family’s life.
I’ve given this book a 4 out of 5 stars, and if you’ve never had the pleasure of reading Katherine Center’s books, this is a wonderful place to start. You can learn about Katherine on her website.