“Almost Home” by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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“With America’s entrance into the Second World War, the town of Blackberry Springs, Alabama, has exploded virtually overnight. Workers from all over are coming south for jobs in Uncle Sam’s munitions plants–and they’re bringing their pasts with them, right into Dolly Chandler’s grand but fading family home turned boardinghouse.

An estranged young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi, a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war–they’re all hoping Dolly’s house will help them find their way back to the lives they left behind. But the house has a past of its own.

When tragedy strikes, Dolly’s only hope will be the circle of friends under her roof and their ability to discover the truth about what happened to a young bride who lived there a century before.

Award-winning and bestselling author Valerie Fraser Luesse breathes life into a cast of unforgettable characters in this complex and compassionate story of hurt and healing.”

I’ve got to admit, I totally requested this book because of the cover! It just looks so relaxing and seemed to promise a cozy, feel-good story. The best part is, it didn’t disappoint! This was such a wonderful story. The lovely southern setting, the endearing characters, and the fun little mystery entwined in it all, combined to create a book I didn’t want to put down.

It’s divided into 3 sections, the first focusing on one couple, the second on another, and the third wrapping up all the ends. When I first realized that, I was a little skeptical as to the flow, but it was actually quite well done.

The spiritual theme wasn’t overt, and its message was a bit vague honestly, but I appreciated the way it was worked in. The doubts, fears, and struggles that one couple in particular had to work through, was very well portrayed.

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the little mystery that was woven throughout regarding the man that had built “Dolly’s House”, and the way it all turned out was completely satisfactory! The epilogue with Dolly’s final letter was one of my favorite parts of the entire book!

All in all, a wonderful story!

Content: Because there are two storylines that involve married couples, there are some references to the marriage bed, etc. There are no inappropriate details, but all things considered, I’d recommend this book for ages 18+ at least. Also, there is ‘mild profanity’ sprinkled throughout.

*Disclaimer: I received an advance paperback copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

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