“Cousins are forever, or at least they’re supposed to be.
What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you?
Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers.
Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal – unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But life in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught.
Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?” (from Goodreads)
What better time for this book Lydia Howe to be released than autumn? I mean, the entire book just feels like autumn even though the seasons change. 😉 I fell in love with Swallow Ridge immediately. It reminded me a lot of my own “hometown”, and even just the name is cute. (And Lillydawn Haven and Psalm 23 too! <3) I enjoyed the cousin dynamic immensely, and I’m not sure there’s anything better than Destiny on caffeine… Unless it’s Lexie’s and Kate’s reactions. XD
And can I just mention–I LOVE ALL THE WRITING AND BOOKSTORE AND COFFEESHOP STUFF? There I mentioned it. I think I could read a whole book about this bookstore. 😉 (There should be a spin-off about the owner. And the owner’s mom. And the owner’s cousin. Not that they are my favorite characters or anything. Except that they are.) 😉 That’s right, Kate, Darren, Mrs. Reed, and Destiny were my favorite characters. I especially liked Destiny’s narrator “voice”. It was spunky and interesting, and her internal comments were always fun. 😛 My favorite part of the book was how Destiny and SPOILER ALERT! her cousins helped bring her Grandma a little bit of redemption and peace. END OF SPOILER ALERT! It was also really neat to find out what happened to the character from the prologue, even though she wasn’t who I was expecting her to be. 😉
The only downside to this book was that the faith element was confusing. There was a church service that felt like a motivational TedTalk. I do understand that this was a special guest speaker, so it would be a little different from a usual church service, but it was “lighter” than I prefer. I did love the Gospel presentation in Lexie’s essay (<3), but Destiny did not have the reaction to it I expected or hoped for. It also made me slightly uncomfortable that the Christians in her life were encouraging her to “take the higher road” and referenced Jesus as a great example in taking the higher road. I would have loved a little more Gospel emphasis especially on what Christ did for us beyond being an example. 😉 Also, just a note for parents of younger readers, the main character and her mother have a very negative relationship.
Best quotes: “You’re quiet now; must be making up for all your chatter as kid. We almost had to have a pause button for you so we could have our turn telling Nanny stories.”
Altogether, I need to find this Swallow Ridge and its adorable bookstore! This was a great, light read, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from this author.
(Also, I will never stop laughing at the whole “It’s one of my life mottoes” scene. :D)
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own. 😉