Have you ever read about a place and then wanted to visit or perhaps even move there?
I just admit that I wouldn’t need much persuading to pack up and head for Hawaii, despite all the murder Colleen Coble has created there. I wouldn’t mind hanging out in the diner frequented by Susan May Warren’s Montana smokejumpers, and Thomas Kincade’s Cape Light with its orchards and lighthouses sounds just shy of heaven.
Lawanna Blackwell introduced me to a sleepy little village in rural north-west England that I’d love to see; it’s called Gresham. Gresham has dainty shops, cobbled streets, flowery gardens and a beautiful hill to climb and admire the views from.
We first see the village through the eyes of new residents. The freshly-widowed Julia Hollis and her three children, fortified by her housekeeper Fiona inherit an old, run down inn. With no other means of providing a living, they set about fixing it up to run as a guest home for the retired.
Of course the path isn’t smooth with rumors of ghosts, unhappy children, financial concerns and colorful residents. But the deeper she needs to dig, the more Julia prays. Then a new, widowed vicar moves in and, well, enough said. It is historical romance after all.
What unfolds over the four books is a beautifully interwoven series of love stories, examples of redemption, heartwarming character development and determined faith in action. Blackwell’ characters stand out for the pages and you can often feel as if you are in the room or on the picnic with them. I felt the hurt after one rogue betrayed his sweetheart and lived and died as another humbled herself to try and secure a happy marriage to escape a life of hard labor with no appreciation.
Each “trip” I have taken to Gresham (and I go there once every couple of years) is a joy and a delight. If you haven’t been, I’d highly recommend you take a trip. The Widow of Larkspur Inn has long been one of my favorite books and I hope if you pick it up, you’ll feel the same.
Now, would you tell me where you like to visit between pages?