A husband’s unexpected death sets off a series of events in the historical novel The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell. A family used to a large house in the city full of servants must move to an abandoned inn in the country and figure out how to do everything from clean to cook to serve others. A cast that includes three children round out the fun and challenges, while a faithful servant adds mystery to the story.
As of the writing of this review, I am starting Chapter 10, about 21% through the book.
What I Liked
Ms. Blackwell developed realistic, sympathetic characters and showed their struggles well, adding variety through health issues, insecurities, strengths, doubts and worries. The children adapted to their new lifestyle at different rates, and to add a bit more conflict she threw in country superstitions contrary to the main characters beliefs.
The story moved along without going too quickly, which was helpful since quite a number of people make appearances. The use of Scripture throughout was well in line with the story and didn’t seem forced or preachy.
What I Didn’t Like
Ms. Blackwell also included quite a bit of descriptions, too much for my taste but not overboard. I’m not much for descriptive passages, typically skipping them entirely, but within this story I’d only skip a sentence or two, not whole pages. I think those who like descriptions of people and places will enjoy her writing style.
I also found the behaviors of the servants towards their mistress in the first few chapters to be odd. This may be explained later in the story, but it seemed even more strange when one changed before the move to the country and went out of his way to be helpful.
The Bottom Line – 3 stars
While this is a book I wouldn’t mind finishing, I don’t race through my chores so I can get back to it and will probably stop where I am, perhaps finishing it at a later date. Although I do enjoy it, I am not overtaken with the need to read more.
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DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book and was not asked by either the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”