A lovely historical novel: "A Haven on Orchard Lane" by Lawana Blackwell

Cover Art

about the book....

An urgent escape . . . a wounded heart . . .

Will Charlotte find the solace she longs for at the cottage on Orchard Lane?

Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career--only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. 

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she's happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions--ones that jeopardize those they care about most.

my review....

Welcome back, Lawana Blackwell! After a multi-year break since her last published novel, Blackwell has offered up a lovely historical novel in "A Haven on Orchard Lane", with characters that you cannot help but grow to love. I thought that the author did a remarkable job at capturing the spirit of the Victorian era, and if I could have stepped into the pages of this story to experience everything first hand, I surely would have! The village where the story is set is simply charming, with all the small town drama to go along with it. The story is filled with a multitude of subplots that kept the pace moving swiftly, and I quite enjoyed all the little twists throughout the book. The relationship between Charlotte and her daughter Rosalind is particularly beautiful to watch unfold, as they go from a place of estrangement to one of reconciliation, which is pure grace in action and one that readers will no doubt be encouraged by. And I think my favourite subplot of the book is how the women all band together to help the abused brothers in their relationship with their step-mother, resulting in many scenes that I found especially moving. All in all, despite this being a fairly lengthy novel at over 400 pages, I simply wasn't ready to leave these characters behind as the book drew to a close. Happily, the epilogue leaves readers with a great ending, and our imaginations are free to consider what lies in store for Charlotte and Rosalind and all the rest of the cast of this story (although should the author choose to pen a sequel, I would be delighted!)

I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction, and award the book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Readers will enjoy the great setting, the nicely developed characters, and the well-handled romance, and be left wanting more.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Lawana Blackwell

Lawana Blackwell has thirteen published novels to her credit, many of them set in the English countryside of the 19th century. She and her husband live in Frisco, Texas.

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