By Kelly Bridgewater
When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did 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 her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’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 Sheetrock 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 Mags’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.
With Lauren K. Denton's debut novel, The Hideaway, I think I found a new book I enjoyed. The Hideaway reminded me a lot of Rachel Hauck's The Wedding Dress, The Wedding Chapel, and The Wedding Shop. It also reminded me of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Denton wrote a book with two competing time periods, present day mingled with the 1960's until the present, and two different narrators, Sara and Mags. Both of these strong women changed their lives around for the sake of family and finding where they really belonged. I really enjoy reading stories where there is something left as a clue for a future grandchild or someone who buys the house. Then I read the other perspective to learn more deeply what actually happened in the past. Denton does a good job at allowing my imagination to see the renovations and improvements that needed to be done to the Hideaway. I believe the improvements to the house mirrored the improvements to Sara's life. The plot moved at a nice pace, keeping me focused on the story and wondering what was going to happen to Mags and Sara. I highly recommend The Hideaway for fans of stories that go through time to share a life lesson. Since The Hideaway was such a good book for Denton's debut novel, I anxiously await what else she writes.
I received a complimentary copy of Lauren K. Denton's The Hideaway from Thomas Nelson Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
What draws you to a story that switches time periods? Do you like it? Do you know any other authors who do this and do it well?