Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lois Battle - Bed and Breakfast

41. Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle (1996)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 20 July 2011
Finished: 30 July 2011
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 July 2011
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Lois Battle is a new author for me.

In Beaufort, South Carolina, Josephine Tatternall - a military widow turned Bed and Breakfast proprietor - is playing bridge with four friends when she witnesses her best friend Peatsy's narrow brush with death. As everyone else around her sits frozen in shock, Josie retains the presence of mind to calmly yet quickly call for an ambulance. As Peatsy is rushed off to hospital, Josie further recalls that she had even wished the young lady who was the emergency dispatcher a very merry Christmas before she hung up the phone.

With Christmas just around the corner, Josie continues to ponder the strange feeling of calmness she felt in the midst of Peatsy's medical crisis. She comes to the conclusion that life is too short to hold grudges; and that to continue to let such grievances stand in the way of your family togetherness is detrimental. Josie determines that in the end, family means everything. This year, Josie resolves to invite her three grown daughters - the girls she raised so carefully, yet with such mixed results - back home for the holidays.

With her own special brand of Southern charm and a sharp-eyed wit, Lois Battle delivers her most entertaining and emotional novel to date. Skillfully employing an uncanny ear for Southern sensibility, the author masterfully paints a family portrait that is tender, poignant and yet gloriously flawed. Family secrets, old misunderstandings, and unspoken loyalties are played out amidst the heightened expectations of the Christmas season - which guarantees joy and tears alike. The upstairs/downstairs comedies of a Southern inn make a perfect backdrop for this portrait of a family in all its tender, touching, and flawed glory and a love story that comes as suddenly as sunshine after the rain.

I must say that I absolutely loved this book. In my opinion, it was a brilliantly written and poignant story - written with such tenderness and honesty that I could immediately relate to each of the characters. There was such a tremendous sense of empathy and understanding for this family's plight that shone throughout this story, that Lois Battle is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I would give this book a definite A+! and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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