I am pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Bluebell Girls by Barbara Josselsohn. I really enjoyed this book, especially as summer is waning and autumn is now officially here. Thanks to Sarah Hardy for my invitation to read and participate.
Growing up in Lake Summers, Jenna and her mother Sweet were known as the bluebell girls. Jenna was carefree, always running barefoot through their wildflower garden, and no one expected her to live in their little lake house in the Adirondack Mountains forever. But when Sweet’s health declines Jenna must return from her life near New York, and with her own daughter Sophie in tow, their family home comes to life again.
Away from the stress of her recent divorce, Jenna finds comfort in lazy afternoons along the water and long nights watching Sweet tell Sophie stories about her long-lost loves. And when she meets Sweet’s new next-door neighbour Troy, she recognizes him instantly as the boy with whom she shared her first kiss.
Seeing Troy reminds Jenna of just how reckless she once was, but as their feelings resurface, so do the secrets they hide about a tragedy in their past. And with Sweet and Sophie closer than ever before, Jenna is forced to make a choice: will she flee again, or is she finally brave enough to be honest with Troy and settle down in Lake Summers forever?
An unforgettable romance that will whisk you away to the sunny shores of Lake Summers. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Debbie Macomber, Mary Alice Monroe and anyone who’s ever dreamed of rekindling a long-lost love.
This is the second book in the Lake Summers series, but can definitely be read as a standalone story. Jenna is recently divorced and plans to move to Lake Summers with her 11 year old daughter Sophie. The plan is to stay for a few weeks in the summer to get things sorted and find a place to stay, then go home to Rye and sell the house and move. Plans to not work out as Sweet, Jenna’s mother has a serious fall and Jenna and Sophie need to stay with her over the summer. Chole, Jenna’s older sister, wants them to sell the house in Lake Summer and move to Long Island with Sweet moving into a residence. Jenna knows that is not what Sweet needs or wants. What follows is a summer of reflection, growth and love.
I loved the relationship between the three generations. Sophie is an unhappy girl at the beginning, but blossoms while developing a relationship with her grandmother. Even Chloe comes around to giving her mother a chance with Jenna and Sophie staying for the summer. The romance between Jenna and Troy was sweet. They knew each other as children and became reacquainted as the story progressed. Troy carries a lot of baggage from his time in Lake Summer and needs to work through that to find happiness again. Watching Jenna grow from a self-doubting mother and woman to someone with confidence in her abilities and choices was wonderful. This was a beautiful, heartwarming, thought-provoking novel with a great setting, wonderful characters and a feel-good storyline. If you enjoy a family story with some love and a bit of romance, then you will enjoy this one. I was gifted a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!