Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I love women’s fiction so it’s no surprise that I absolutely loved Mary McNear’s debut novel Up at Butternut Lake! This is an emotional and heartwarming tale that is sure to charm readers. It’s got that small town feel with great characters and a little romance thrown in. It’s the perfect comfort read! Even more exciting is that Up at Butternut Lake is the first in The Butternut Lake Trilogy, with the second one, Butternut Summer, out later this year and I can’t wait to read it!
Although it’s been a few years since Allie’s husband was killed in Afghanistan she and her five year old son Wyatt are still understandably reeling from the grief of it all. Allie decides to move them up to Butternut Lake where her family owns a cabin and where she spent many happy times. Maybe this will be a place of healing and starting over for her and Wyatt.
The town of Butternut Lake takes in Allie and Wyatt like they’d been there all along. There’s Caroline who runs the local coffee shop who is desperately missing her daughter since she left home. Needless to say she welcomes Allie and especially little Wyatt who takes to her like bees to a flower. Then there is Allie’s friend Jax who she has missed terribly. Jax has her own family now with kids of her own but they accept Allie and Wyatt into their circle in no time. Let’s not forget the gorgeous Walker who owns a boatyard who is stumped upon meeting Allie for the first time as she barely notices his existence.
As the months go on though Allie can’t help her attraction to Walker and Wyatt really likes him. Yet Allie feels guilty for being attracted to him and even for thinking of maybe having a relationship with a man. In order for Allie to move forward she has to face her past and finally say goodbye to her husband. The question is can she do that and does she even want to?
I can see this novel being chosen for book clubs because it would be a perfect choice. There is a wide range of subjects from losing a loved one to attempting to start over again and lots in between. While there is loss and grief in Up at Butternut Lake there is also the joy found in the renewal of spirit and in the hope of going forward in both life and love. Highly recommended!
Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.