After a divorce, a move, and the start of a new career, Andrea Henderson is ready to begin a new life, living in her parent's lake house on Moses lake with her teenage son. Larkspur Cove relates the story of her struggles with her rebellious son, the difficulties of working as a social worker in a rural, backwoods setting, and her pull between looking for new love and her desire to "make it on her own."
Game Warden Mart McClendon is also beginning anew in Moses Lake after a family tragedy that he wants to leave behind emotionally. He is suspicious of the "yuppy" newcomer, but gradually begins to see that his first impressions may have been incorrect.
Larkspur Cove alternates between these two points-of-view, following the characters as they struggle with deciding what they want in life and their attraction to each other.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. I found the first couple of chapters a little bit hard to follow, but after that, the story flowed quickly and kept me up reading much too late at night! The story was original and not overly predictable. I recommend this book!
I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House.
I bought Larkspur Cove when I heard Lisa speak recently, so I have an autographed copy. I was entranced from the first page and read well into the night, woke up and finished it. Now, I'm sorry it is over, but I'll definitely reread it. I love the little lakeside community of Moses Lake and the fishermen in the cafe and Pop and Sheila. All the characters just seem so real to me. I want to find out more about them and hope Wingate bring them into the next book, Blue Moon Bay. All the great mystery of the little girl, Birdie just kept me turning pages and I loved seeing Mart and Andrea overcome their angst and open their hearts to a new relationship. Maybe best of all were the words of wisdom on the wall at the Waterbird. I don't know how Lisa keeps coming up with such great stories, but I wish she'd write even faster. I loved meeting Lisa in Abilene at the library's Brown Bag Luncheon series. If you get a chance to hear her, you should go! She's a great speaker and told us some about how she finds her stories. Read this book and you'll want to get her other books also.
"There's something about Moses Lake that changes people. It's anybody's guess as to why that is, but I think that's what my mama was hoping for when we came here all those years ago_For folks who stay a little longer, the hills, and the draws, and the water, and the people piece together like an old quilt, wrapping around, comfortable and warm. Safe. There's no mystery to it after a while. You just know you're in the right place. You feel it deep in your soul."
And so begins the last chapter of Larkspur Cove.
I wasn't sure when I started this book that I would be able to get into the story because the chapters alternate between two characters. Andrea Henderson has come through a divorce that no one saw coming. She and her teenage son, Dustin, return to the summer home of her parents on Larkspur Cove in Moses Lake, Texas. All she wants is to rebuild her life, protect her son for whatever life brings his way and do her job as a Child Protective Service employee. The other character is game warden Mart McClendon. Mart has been trying to recover from the death of his brother and young nephew. He blames himself that they died in a boating accident. Return to an area where he lived as a youth, Mart is a local game warden who catches Dustin and other local youth diving off a dangerous rock in the lake.
After an explosive confrontational first meeting, Mart and Andrea find their lives intertwined as they deal with a local recluse and his granddaughter. As an attraction grows between them, each must come to terms with the reasons they returned to Moses Lake.
I enjoyed Larkspur Cove and recommend it to others. I received this book to review for free from Bethany House.
After experiencing a divorce and enduring the loss of the future that she once envisioned for herself, Andrea Henderson moves into her parents' lake house in the riverfront neighborhood of Larkspur Cove. While trying to rebuild her life and her faith, Andrea battles self-doubt as she begins a new job, and she questions her adequacy as a mother to a young teenage son.
Through a series of events, Andrea meets Mart McClendon, a game warden at Moses Lake. He is also building a new life on Moses Lake, but the past continues to haunt him.
Despite their painful pasts, the present pulls them together as they work to uncover the mystery of a young girl who has been taken in by an older man who lives as a hermit in a secluded area. As they are drawn together by circumstances and a united cause, will Moses Lake revive their hopes and rekindle their faith?
Like the novels in Lisa Wingate's Daily Texas series, Larkspur Cove is a story that is driven by well-developed characters in a setting that exudes a small-town charm, with just the right dose of quirky humor. This debut novel is not as light-hearted as the books in her previous series (Talk of the Town, Word Gets Around, Never say Never), but it is an emotionally compelling read that kept me turning the pages. Each chapter alternates between Andrea's and Mart's perspectives, which provide insights into their thoughts and motivations. As a reader, I shared their pain, doubts, and joys as they experienced them. I was drawn to both Andrea's and Mart's stories, but also those of her son, the mysterious child, and the town recluse.
Wingate masterfully creates vivid pictures of life on Moses Lake, that is remarkably real with struggles, sorrow, and triumphs, but equally inviting because of the sense of community. The Waterbird Bait and Grocery is the hangout for the locals, and I looked forward to the engaging conversations provided by the local fishermen. They provide just the right flavor to lighten the mood, and they are reminiscent of the presence of "characters" in real-life that can brighten our day. The quotes that begin each chapter, which are written on the "wall of wisdom" by residents and visitors, offer insight into the novel, but they are also valuable in our own lives. Larkspur Cove is both an emotional and satisfying read.
I am looking forward to visiting Moses Lake again in Lisa Wingate's next book in the series, Blue Moon Bay. It is scheduled to be released in February 2012.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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."