The first I’ve read from the small town of Oliver’s Well, Virgina: Mary McDonough has brought a holiday homecoming story to light with this contemporary woman’s fiction story Please read on for my vastly delayed review of
The House on Honeysuckle Lane
The three Reynolds siblings had grown apart after their mother’s death, or perhaps that highlighted the divide that started years earlier. This will be the last chance for them to revisit old holiday traditions, as they are readying the house for sale during this season. Andie, Emma and Danny haven’t been under the same roof in years, and the added emotions aren’t making it easier.
Andie went off years ago and found her place as a successful self-help author. But she’s wondering if perhaps, a change of pace to actually find her own path would be better than struggling with a secret and all of her own shames. A marriage and child when she was very young resulted in her leaving husband and child – wholly unhappy to find her own life. For Emma, she decided to strike out on her own, finding success in her career but the end of a long relationship also had her rethinking life. Danny, the youngest, is reverting to his childish ways – temper tantrums and steadfast refusal to accept change. To hear him tell it – he’s had it the hardest with all of the changes.
Grief affects everyone in different ways, and losses tend to make people reevaluate their lives and the paths they are on. McDonough shows us everyone’s struggle with the emotions, memories and interactions: learning to see one another as adults and not get lost in patterns of childhood. While not a fast-paced story by any means, the interactions, dialogue, interior thoughts and attempts to reform the holidays with a key element missing are clearly detailed and lovely to read.
One of those holiday reads that will strike most with those who have come through the first holiday without that special loved one, and showing the potential of healing, hope for the future, and life moving forward after times of great change.
Title: The House on Honeysuckle Lane
Author: Mary McDonough
Also in this series: One Year
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Holiday Themed, Small Town
Published by: Kensington
Published on: 27 September, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Mary McDonough welcomes readers back to the small town of Oliver’s Well, Virginia, in a story of holiday and homecoming, as three siblings gather for a Christmas that brings unexpected gifts.
Even in a town as picturesque and rich in history as Oliver’s Well there’s something special about the Reynolds house on Honeysuckle Lane. Sturdy yet graceful, well-proportioned outside and within, it’s where Andie, Emma, and Daniel Reynolds grew up—before they began to grow apart.
For Danny, this first reunion since their mother’s death is a chance for him and his sisters to relive cherished holiday traditions—attending the church concert, lighting the town tree—before finally settling their parents’ estate. But readying the house for sale proves no easy task when every piece of furniture and every moment together stirs up the past.
Andie, the oldest sibling, didn’t just leave home years ago, she left her young daughter too. Though she’s found fulfillment and fame as a self-help author, coming back shakes her equilibrium. How can she presume to guide others if she can’t be honest with those closest to her, much less herself? Middle child Emma struck out on her own instead of accepting her father’s offer to share his business. Yet now she finds herself drawn back to her town’s quiet rhythms and routines, wondering if it’s possible to start over.
The house on Honeysuckle Lane contains a lifetime’s worth of joys and dreams, and its share of regrets too. This Christmas, it will be the place where Andie, Emma, and Danny come together to remember, laugh, fight, plan—and find their way forward as a family once more.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.