The Widow of Larkspur InnMonday, March 25, 2013
The Widow of Larkspur Inn (The Gresham Chronicles, Book 1)
By Lawana Blackwell
This is the first book in a series called The Gresham Chronicles and as a first book in a series it sets up a great location filled with lively characters.
This is a Christian Fiction series that is set in Victorian Era London, at least in the beginning. We quickly find out that our main character, Julia Hollis must leave London and the lifestyle she is accustomed to and start running an inn in Gresham. Julia's husband passes away before the book begins, and the drama starts quickly as Julia finds out he left her with a large amount of debt and no income.
Julia, after many tears, puts on a strong face for her children, and with the help of her maid, Fiona O'Shea, they leave for Gresham, and the Larkspur Inn to start over.
The amazing transformation that happens to Julia as she decides to work through the obstacle God has presented her fills the first half of the book. But she does learn a great lesson.
"In whatever state I am in, I have learned to be content. So that meant if contentment did not come naturally, it could be learned." (p 54) This is the attitude Julia takes on as she embarks on a scary future, but her determination pulls her through, and then contentment follows. A great example as to how our feelings can betray us, and we must decide on a behavior.
The people of Gresham enhance the story greatly - the neighbors are exactly what you would expect for a small town that is involved in everyone's business - nosy yet protective.
Then there are the people who stay in the inn.
My personal favorite was Ambrose Clay - an actor who has come to the inn to rest as he suffers great depression. Ambrose slowly falls in love with Fiona, but Fiona keeps away...
Ambrose also starts to realize that there is hope, and that hope is found in God. The story is very inspiring. A turning point for Ambrose is when Fiona boldly speaks to him, saying, "'God's ways are not our ways.'" This short phrase sticks with Ambrose and changes him, slowly.
There are so many great characters in this story - if you love characters that are well developed this might be a series to consider! Plus this first book leaves you wanting more, but satisfied with the ending.
Reading List Rating:
Have you read The Widow of Larkspur Inn? Have you read the other books in the series? Share your thoughts!
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