When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.
Because of my relationship with The Fiction Guild’s Elite Reader Program, I am very fortunate to be able to get a lot of books that I wouldn’t ordinarily hear about. Today’s book is exactly one of those books. I recently enlisted the assistance of my mother, Gloria, to help me read and report on some of the books. Here’s Gloria’s review on The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton:
WOW!! I loved Lauren K. Denton’s debut novel, The Hideway! Be sure to sit back in a comfortable chair with a glass of sweet tea and enjoy this wonderful light read Southern fiction filled full of love, second chances, humor and family folklore. Mix that with some mystery that includes one big secret and an old run down Victorian house located in Sweet Bay, Alabama that was formerly a bed and breakfast – a “B & B”.
Mrs. Margaret Van Buren (“Mags”) daughter, Jenny, is deceased. Jenny’s daughter, Sara, came to live with her grandmother Mags at the age of 12 years old in the B & B along with the seniors who arrived but never left. Sara considered her grandmother eccentric and left the B & B in Sweet Bay as soon as she graduated from high school.
Not keeping in touch with her grandmother, Sara settled in New Orleans and opened a highly successful interior design shop called Bits and Pieces. Sara is content with her busy life. When she receives a telephone call telling her that her grandmother Mags has passed away and leaves her the B & B which is full of her friends.
The Last Will left by Mags instructed Sara to restore the B & B to its former glory days so that she can sell it, or do whatever she wishes to do with it. Sara moves in to start the renovations. In the process, she hires a handsome contractor and he changes the way she looks at a lot of things.
Sara found a box of Mags’ treasurers in the attic and began her journey of researching her grandmother’s history. She soon learned that she did not know her grandmother at all.
This story contains enough twist and turns that makes you want to hurry and turn the page to find out what is happening next. Does Sara stay at the newly renovated B & B or does she return to her shop in New Orleans? Do we really know our parents/grandparents? Do we really listen when they tell stories from their past?
You will find the answers to these questions in the story. Right here, all I can say is that this book is definitely a “must read”! I can’t wait to read Ms. Denton’s next book!!
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two young daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel.
I received a paperback copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Elite Reader book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, or in this case, my mom’s.