by Melody Carlson
The Howard sisters, now in their fifties and sixties, are back together in the small town of Acorn Hill following the death of their father.
- The oldest sister, Louise, is now a widow. She has been rattling around in her Philadelphia home now that her husband and daughter are gone. Louise is a gifted pianist who gives piano lessons, primarily to children.
- Alice is a registered nurse in Acorn Hill who has been living at home with her father. (Their mother died decades earlier.)
- Jane, the youngest sister, is an accomplished chef in San Francisco. She’s at loose ends since her very painful divorce.
The sisters have inherited equally the big old family house. It’s actually a beautiful, historic home. All it needs is a new roof, new paint (inside and out) and a whole list of items for refurbishment. As the sisters take a few weeks to decide what to do with the house, they realize how much they have missed being with each other, even though they don’t always agree on everything.
Once Alice shares her dream of turning the house into a bed and breakfast, everything comes together for the three women. Louise and Jane agree to relocate back to their home town. The three pool their resources and set about planning the renovation of the house. The rest of the book is the story of their progress in achieving that goal.
There are lots of challenges during this restoration project. Some of them are handyman issues, some a matter of personal taste, and some involve local residents who have their own ideas of what the sisters should do or not do with the building everyone calls Grace Chapel House.
I bought this book because I thought it would be something my 90-year-old mother would enjoy. And, she will. I knew, because the publisher is Guideposts, that it would be Christian-based but not overly preachy. The pace is slow enough that Mom will be able to spend hours and hours with the book. That’s many hours of reading enjoyment. This daughter, however, lost patience with the slowness and, after the first half, skipped quickly through the rest of the book.
There are 47 books (and counting) in this series. If my mother likes this one, I’ve hit the mother lode of books for her. I found the list at Guideposts.com, if you are interested. Something you may want to keep in mind for Mother’s Day.