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4 Stars Out Of 5
Welcome to Bloomfield!
March 22, 2013
If you enjoyed Mitford, you're going to want to visit Bloomfield, the lovely town featured in this charming new series.
Debby Mayne's Waiting for a View is the first release, and it's a sweet, comfy story about a number of real-life issues. Not only is 40ish "old maid" Sherry Butler unaware of how far into a rut she's fallen, she's oblivious to her stubborn grasp on past disappointments and obstinate independence. Fortunately, Garden Club matron Naomi McCord is too old to let a little thing like personal space stand in her way. Sherry (and her life) become Naomi's latest project, and it's fun to watch the machinations Naomi sets into place to shake things up and inject some change into Sherry's life.
Waiting for a View is a fine beginning to a series (and a town) that should prove a readers' favorite for several years to come.
Waiting for a View by Debby Mayne is the first book (novella) in what promises to be a delightful series set in the fictional town of Bloomfield. The Bloomfield series depicts a small town where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared. These books are written by different authors - Debby Mayne, Gail Sattler, Kathi Macias, Martha Rogers, Trish Perry, Jenness Walker, Tracy Bowen, and Miralee Ferrell - and will be released in various formats every few months.
Sherry Butler, manager of the local card shop and Vice President of the Garden Club, lives in the family home left by her parents. Seemingly content in her "comfort zone," she resists the not-so-gentle nudging of family friend, Naomi, to step out. Brad Henderson, an admirer from the past, works with Sherry and her Garden Club committee in building a playground for the community, while seeking to know her better. With Naomi's encouragement, Sherry finally decides to put her house on the market and her name on the waiting list for a nice apartment with a view of the lake.
Waiting for a View introduces us to the quaint town of Bloomfield and some of its quirky, yet endearing characters. Debby brings in some great humor when Sherry looks after Murray the Parrot while his owner travels, and I hope we see more of Murray in future books. It is also refreshing to see two major characters who are older - Sherry at 40 and Naomi almost 80. Naomi is a mother figure to Sherry, and their relationship is one of my favorite parts. "Naomi's mission: Fix anything broken and tweak what wasn't. The question in Sherry's mind was whether she was a fix or a tweak."
This is a light story - no complexity, suspense or adventure here. Waiting for a View is about a town desiring to reach 10,000 in population, yet striving to maintain its small-town closeness as more development comes in. Taking this novella for what it is, I found it enjoyable. I'm hoping we will see more of this story's main characters and that some of the lesser characters will have their time in future books.
More about Debby Mayne and her books can be found here:
This book was provided by B&H Books through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Sherry Butler has been in a rut since forever. Pushing forty, Sherry still lives in the decrepit house she grew up in, inherited when her parents died. She's been managing a card shop for nearly as long. She's a person of habit: she sits in the same pew at church every week and attends meetings of the Bloomfield Garden Club, where she subscribes to the group's philosophy that the town of Bloomfield is the best place to live. The Garden Club unofficially runs the town, and their stated purpose is to reach 10,000 residents.
Once upon a time Sherry dated Theo, but she couldn't bring herself to embrace change enough to marry him. Now Brad is back in town and showing some interest in her. Naomi, an elderly lady from the Garden Club and church, has decided it's time for Sherry's life to shake up a bit. Not only is she encouraging Sherry to expand her horizons and date Brad, but maybe she should sell the house that's falling down around her ears and move into one of those new apartments overlooking the lake. And if there's any other way Naomi can meddle, she's up for that, too!
Add in Murray, a parrot whose owner randomly drops him off for Sherry to parrot-sit, and you get a humor-filled story about breaking out of the mold and taking a chance on life and love.
What are you waiting for? Sherry was Waiting for a View. All of us spend time waiting. Is it something we should be waiting on? Or maybe it's time to take some initiative and grab hold of change.
Bloomfield is a fictional town created by a team of authors contracted by B&H Publishing. While it's not unheard of for a a group to collaborate, B&H is doing some things a bit differently this time around. This first story is a novella and debuted as a series of free weekly podcasts on iTunes, read by the author. It became available as an ebook novella a few weeks into the podcasts. Other stories in the Bloomfield collection will be by various authors and in an assortment of formats. This seems like a fun way to spice things up a bit.