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A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell
Nearly destitute, actress Charlotte Ward tries to revive her career with disastrous results. Her estranged daughter, Rachel, feels compelled to move her to a quiet English village. Rachel isn't happy about leaving her teaching job or caring for a parent who wasn't there for her. Will mother and daughter learn that placing others' needs first can bring healing?
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career--only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village.
Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it's a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching--and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance?
Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.
Blue Jeans & TeacupsCaliforniaAge: 45-54Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5***Mixed Feelings on this One / Reader beware***February 10, 2018Blue Jeans & TeacupsCaliforniaAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Victorian Era. I really like that the story started out with a middle-aged, plus size woman as the primary character. Later her daughter will join her and share the spotlight as well. The book is about a former stage actress, now stuck in a loveless marriage far from society, leading a very lonely existence. When an opportunity arises to leave the miserable life, she seizes it. Then, when illness necessitates, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, come to her rescue and they head for a small village to avoid publicity. The village in some respects is charming and lovely. However, there are also shady goings-on behind closed doors. The abuse the 2 small boys suffers at the hands of their step-mother make you want to reach through the pages and slap her. I found it hard to deal with, and it is a recurring theme throughout. Additionally, there is a line slipped into the story that really irritated me: Ch. 16 "Sad though it was, Charlotte was relieved. Decades in theater had taught her that not all men preferred women." Really? More and more society is trying to make being gay socially normal/acceptable. However, I don't expect to read a line like this, casually slipped in during the Victorian era that has absolutely nothing to do with the story from a Christian author. Nor do I expect it from Bethany House Publishing.
I did enjoy Charlotte's character overall, and the budding romance between Rosalind and Mr. Pearce. However, as far as recommending the book... I could take it or leave it, and would not reach for it a second time. It is the second time this author has disappointed me. While I loved The Gresham Chronicles Books 1,2 & 3 I did not enjoy book 4 which picked up 15 years after book 3 ended and found it very sad and depressing. So, with that said, I will move on.
2016 Bethany House
I purchased a copy and my opinion is my own.
Jan5 Stars Out Of 5A Haven on Orchard LaneOctober 16, 2017JanQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Haven't quite finished it yet, but love it so far! Never want to put it down. It really captures my attention!!
MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Romance and Redemption in Edwardian EnglandNovember 10, 2016MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 0I absolutely loved this latest book by Lawana Blackwell! Her characters are refreshingly droll, and she weaves such gentle faith and humor into their conversations that I immediately feel I know them as good friends (or enemies, in the case of Lord Fosberry and Mrs. Hooper!).
This story was especially captivating because the main character was my age and not a slim young thing. She dealt with regrets that sounded remarkably modern, though the story was set in the late 19th century. The developing relationship between Charlotte and her estranged daughter Rosalind was tender and honest. The romance that began in a bookstore (one of my favorite places!) was equally temperate and touching. Even the "supporting cast" of characters was carefully fleshed out and given great lines. It was interesting to see how Biblical principles kept emerging in the quiet village of Port Stilwell: that things once hidden would be shouted from the rooftops, that what men mean for evil God can work out for good, that our lives have the most meaning not when we are honored and served, but when we serve others.
The gentle pace of this book and attention to detail made me feel that I was in England myself. I was torn between quickly turning the pages to find out what happened next, and slowly rereading passages to make the book last. I have to say that I often find epilogues to be a weak way to tie up loose ends, but not so here - Blackwell's epilogue is a delicious finale to a well-told tale, the best ending I've read all year.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction set in Edwardian times. As for me, I'm going to hunt for any other Blackwell volumes I may have missed reading. She is truly my "cup of tea."
SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Wonderfully Rich!August 28, 2016SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I hadn't read a Lawana Blackwell book in many years when this book and synopsis caught my eye. I am very glad I bought the book. Lawana had done an outstanding job with this one.
Charlotte Ward, former actress of stage in London, now married to an uncaring man, is offered a chance to come back to the stage. Things do not go well and she is forced to go incognito to a small village in Devon. Her long estranged daughter, Rosalind, goes to see about her, in the village. Can their relationship be mended? Is there a future for them in this little village?
This book reads like one of those wonderful British miniseries. It is so full and rich and profound. It draws the reader in immediately and you just want to take up residence in a cottage next door! Many characters abound here and Blackwell fleshes them all out very well. Many have secondary stories and I loved that about this book. I was amazed at how rich this book was!
The spiritual lesson is also wonderful here. Even when we think we have totally messed up, God still has a plan for us. A wonderful plan to bring fullness to our hearts and give us great hope.
I highly recommend this book.
E. Elizabeth5 Stars Out Of 5Review of A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana BlackwellJuly 28, 2016E. ElizabethQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A Haven on Orchard Lane had the same wonderful aspects that Lawana Blackwell's other novels have had in the past. She has always been one of my favorite authors; so I was very excited when I saw that she had another book coming out. I loved this one just as much as her others. Her stories seem so unique, and I think part of this is the way she tells the story.
One unique quality is that the story switches between many of the different characters' perspectives while told in third person. The story tells the thoughts and actions for the main character for that section, which helps one feel as if they get to know more of the characters in the book instead of just the main one or two characters that most books will cover. This switch in perspectives also keeps one guessing what will happen next. As you get into the lives of a character, one starts to feel as if he knows that character more and more. Just when one wants to find out what will happen next in that person's life, the perspective switches to another character. The characters with the most time spent on their lives are Charlotte and Rosalind. The book covers the mending of their mother and daughter relationship.
Another unique quality is that the characters seem so real. Either one really loves a character, or they really dislike the character. The two little boys, Danny and Albert, make one want to give them a big hug and help Charlotte to care for them. On the other hand, their stepmother, makes one want to throw her in jail for treating the boys the way she does.
I would recommend Lawana Blackwell's A Haven on Orchard Lane to anyone who wants a novel they can escape away in to another time and place, where they can meet different people whom they will grow to love.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity!