Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Book Review: Where the Grass Grows Blue

Hi friends! I know I don't post nearly as often as I should but my goal is to get better about it. I've no shortage of great books I've read, that's for sure, and I have all kinds of personal life stuff I could be writing about. I'm hoping now that summer is here and I can feel my vitamin D going up that everything else starts perking up. 


I do have a great summer read for you. Part romance, part women's fiction, a perfect summer book club selection!

Where The Grass Grows Blue - Hope Gibbs

Penny Crenshaw’s swift divorce and her husband’s new marriage to a much younger woman have been hot topics around Atlanta’s social circles. After a year of enduring the cruel gossip, Penny leaps from the frying pan into the fire by heading back to Kentucky to settle her grandmother’s estate.

Reluctantly, Penny travels to her hometown of Camden, knowing she will be stirring up all the ghosts from her turbulent childhood. But not all her problems stem from a dysfunctional family. One of Penny’s greatest sources of pain lives just down the street: Bradley Hitchens, her childhood best friend, the keeper of her darkest secrets, and the boy who shattered her heart.

As Penny struggles with sorting through her grandmother’s house and her own memories, a colorful group of friends drifts back into her life, reminding her of the unique warmth, fellowship, and romance that only the Bluegrass state can provide. Now that fate has forced Penny back, she must either let go of the scars of her past or risk losing a second chance at love. Can she learn to live an unbridled life?
I have to say, this book was fulfilling on so many levels. It's a romance, a second chance romance, but it is also a story of starting over and getting it right the second go round. 

We have Penny, who is abruptly served divorce papers that sends her life into a tailspin. Having had a difficult childhood, she relies on nobody but herself and doesn't always stick up for herself. Learning of the death of her grandmother at nearly the same time, having to take care of her grandmother's estate, and her children going on a ridiculous trip to Africa with their father and his shiny new wife, forces Penny to reevaluate her life, close up loose ends, and figure out what her future is going to be. Of course going back to your hometown with mixed memories is never easy, especially when she runs into Bradley, her first love and her first major heartbreak.

I absolutely adored this book. I flew threw it while nursing Olivia post wisdom teeth surgery, and it was the best book to kick my summer reading off with. As a mom I could relate to the hurt of splitting your time with your children, especially if your ex husband is just a piece of human garbage like Penny's, but also the uncertainty she would have over her future when her whole life has been a stay at home, do-it-all mom and wife, and now that's all erased. Very reminiscent of the writing style of Susan Mallery, and the heart of Susan Wiggs, but the humor of Dorothea Benton Frank, this book takes you directly into the small town heartland of Kentucky. (Also, there's a chapter that includes a coming home potluck at the community church for Penny and I kid you not, if you life in the midwest, you KNOW what that potluck looks like and the author absolutely nailed it, down to the strawberry fluff salad. HA!!)

If you're looking for something light, with plenty of heart, Hope Gibbs needs to be on your radar. A perfect read for the beach, laying in a lawn chair while supervising the kiddos, or relaxing on the couch post sunburn. 

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