Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review ~ A Turn In The Road by Debbie Macomber

A Turn in the Road (Blossom Street)A Turn in the Road (Blossom Street)
Author ~ Debbie Macomber
Publisher ~ Mira
Pages ~ 336 pgs
Publication date ~ April 26, 2011

About the book ~

In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth. They’re driving to Florida for Ruth’s 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She’s heard he’s alone, too...and, well, she’s curious. Maybe even hopeful. Bethanne herself needs time to reflect, to ponder a decision she has to make. Her ex-husband, Grant — her children’s father — wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne’s considering it.... Meanwhile, Annie’s out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him! So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions — but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road. Or lead you to an unexpected encounter — like the day Bethanne meets a man named Max who really is a hero on a Harley. That’s when Bethanne’s decision becomes a lot harder. Because Grant wants her back, but now there’s Max.... From Seattle’s Blossom Street to the other end of the country, this is a trip that could change three women’s lives.

My thoughts ~

When we first met Bethanne Hamlin she had just been separated from her husband Grant and was looking for a way to support herself, her son, Andrew, and her daughter, Annie (see A Good Yarn). It’s now six years later and life seems to have fallen completely in place for Bethanne. Her Parties store is a success, and she and her children are happy. The only thing that appears to be upsetting her apple cart is her ex-husband’s new-found desire to right his wrongs and get back together with her. Bethanne isn’t sure she can move on from the past, if she can forgive and forget, if she can love him like she used to, or if she even wants to. The pressure Bethanne is getting from her daughter for them to reunite isn’t helping at all.

Ruth is Bethanne’s former mother-in-law. Despite the divorce they have continued to maintain their friendship. While Ruth’s life has been both happy and fulfilling, she does have some regrets. But now, years later, she is given the chance to make things right. Her only hope is that after all these years, it’s not too late.

Annie is young, vibrant, smart, driven, head-over-heels in love, and determined to get her mother and father back together. She appears to have it all. She is getting her MBA, she works with her mom, and just knows that her boyfriend Vance is about to propose. Life could not get any better. But then Vance drops a bomb on her and life isn’t so perfect anymore.

Ruth has decided to go to her 50th high school reunion – in Florida. Which everyone thinks is wonderful. It will give her a chance to see some old friends and hopefully make amends. However, no one is happy when she announces that she is planning on driving from Seattle to the reunion – by herself! Everyone agrees that a woman Ruth’s age should not drive cross-country on her own, it’s just not safe. So Bethanne makes the spontaneous decision to go with her. The road trip will give her the time she needs to think about where she wants her relationship with Grant to go, if anywhere. And Annie, feeling dejected, decides to tag along too.

The three women set off together on what will hopefully be the trip of a lifetime. Grandmother, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter spending precious time together. Since Ruth intended to go alone originally, her route was pretty well laid out already. Plans are quickly changed in order for the woman to both explore parts of the family history and have a little fun (hello Vegas!) Then a chance encounter in a diner has Bethanne’s whole world spinning. The second she locks eyes with Max, the rough and tumble biker, she knows there is something undeniable between them. Something she has never felt before, not even with Grant. But she’s just passing through and knows there never will, nor could there be, anything between them. Then they meet again and the feelings Bethanne has for him are just as intense. And she knows he’s feeling the same way. However, it’s quite obvious that her mother-in-law and daughter do not approve of this budding relationship. Especially since they want Bethanne and Grant to reunite.

A Turn in the Road is the story of three generations of women at a crossroads in their lives. Each one must take the road that will bring them to the place they want to be, the place that will bring them the happiness they so richly deserve. Can Ruth be forgiven for her past sin? Can Annie let go of a past love and make room in her heart for a new one? Will Bethanne choose between what is safe and familiar, or what she knows in her heart is her destiny?A Turn in the Road is touted as a “Blossom Street” book due to the fact that the main character is a part of the original books. As much as I enjoyed this book, and I fully understand the meaning behind the road trip, I wish it would have (or maybe future books will) taken us back to Blossom Street – literally. I would love to know, in more depth, how all of the other Blossom Street residents are doing, instead of the little snippets we get at the beginning of the book when Bethanne stops by A Good Yarn to pick up some yarn. The writing is strong, the story flows smoothly, and the characters could very well be your own mother, sister, or daughter. This is a beautiful story of good times spent with family, forgiveness, faith, and finding the love of your life no matter what age you are.


About the author ~

With more than 130 million copies of her books in print, Debbie Macomber is one of the world’s most popular authors. In July 2007 Debbie threw out the first pitch in a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. The prolific author lives in Washington state and winters in Florida with her husband. When not writing, she enjoys knitting, traveling with Wayne and putting on Grandma Camps for her grandchildren, for whom she has built a four-star tree house behind her home in Port Orchard. 

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Other books in the Blossom Street series ~

FTC full disclosure ~ I received this book from NetGalley