I received "Blue Moon Bay" by Lisa Wingate for free from Bethany House Publishers. This is a story you have probably read or watched (movie version) before under another name. Weird girl makes good in business world, goes back to hometown, makes a mess of things and kisses the football hero she was in love with from high school. The reason it has been done so often is because it's a good storyline that never seems to get old. However, about halfway through this book things take a little different turn. Heather goes back to her home town to see her family and try to get them to sell the family property. She stands to make a lot of money in this deal. Her mom is flighty and strange. I never did grow to like her. Her uncles are great; hometown atmosphere is funny; and her brother and his dog make an adorable pair. Midway through the book, Ruth, Heather's babysitter from yesteryear, enters the story. This character is amazing, I wish more of the book centered on her. Heather (and the reader) is never really sure what is going on in the story til the end. There are secrets everywhere and no one will tell the truth. There is a big pivotal moment towards the end that I can't tell you about or it will spoil everything, which changes everything in Heather's life. I liked this book. Only thing I would change would be to incorporate Ruth in the story more.
Though I've never lived in Texas, I have lived on farms near small towns. Lisa Wingate's Blue Moon Bay brings back the memories of slow, small-town life where everyone knows everyone's business.
However, in Lisa's book, Blue Moon Bay, everyone doesn't know everyone's business when it comes to the Hampton family's questionable behaviors. Heather Hampton, a Seattle architect, living in big city Seattle and fast times must adjust her hasty lifestyle when she returns to Moses Lake, TX, in order to get her mother's signature for the sale of the home place for her firm's contract project and return the next day. However, her family deliberately won't tell her anything. She's totally unable to gather them all in one place to hash out the situation.
Lisa caught my eye and my heart from the first page of her book, Blue Moon Bay. I love her free-flowing style of writing, her in-depth characters, and the complicated and sometimes funny circumstances that Heather finds herself in as she travels to and arrives at Moses Lake, TX. The novel is laid out as a story of family grief, secrets, and conniving that seem to be connected to the local banker, Blaine Underhill, Heather's former high-school crush. Her family's apparent rejection of her and her presence at Moses Lake and their complicity in avoiding any communication with her is mind-boggling to her. She doesn't know if what they are doing is conniving or crooked. Toss in a clandestine romance, an overt courting, and suspense and the story is complete.
I found the small-town TX story absolutely intriguing. The "back-hills" family keeping the "high city roller" in the dark was done to perfection. The suspense added to the story as well as Heather's heart-breaking memories of her father's death and her mother and brother's flighty lifestyles. Will Heather ever be able to overcome her unrest over her father's death? Will she be able to forgive her mother and brother for their flighty, irresponsible behaviors? A great read! Be sure to pick up a copy!
This book was provided by Noelle Buss of Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
After the tragic death of her father, Heather Hampton graduated from high school and left Moses Lake, Texas never intending to return. Years later, the opportunity to get ahead in her career compels her to return to the place that left such deep wounds. Blue Moon Bay is about how pain affects our perception of events and makes it hard to receive the love being offered us.
Heather gets a chance to see her past with new eyes, find healing and maybe even love. The book is a blend of romance and suspense. Although Lisa Wingate writes realistically about family dysfunction and the deep pain that life causes, she manages to do it with humor and hope. Even her secondary characters had a depth that I appreciated. I especially liked Ruth, the Mennonite housekeeper who becomes a substitute mom for Heather after her father's death. When Heather returns to Moses Lake years later, Ruth continues to be a gentle and wise voice in Heather's life.
This is the first book of Lisa's that I read, but I think I will be picking up more. I saw that one of her other books, Larkspur Cove, was recently nominated for the prestigious Christy award. The Christy is like the Oscar for Christian fiction. For Lisa Wingate to be nominated is an indication of how adept she is at storytelling. Well done.
I really enjoyed the story line in this book. Heather Hampton, returns to Moses Lake TX on business, and ends up fighting her demons and finding acceptance and forgiveness. The characters seemed so real, and my favorite was Ruth and her stories.
Heather reunites with her brother Clay, her Mom and her loveable Uncles, and likeable Blaine. Then there are the members of a small community, and the way she thinks they are talking about her. You will be wondering where all of this is going to lead, there are a lot of twists and turns, and an unexpected ending.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.
Lisa Wingate does characterization as few other authors do. By the end you will be wanting to know what Heather, Blaine, Clay, Mom and the Uncs do next. The romance was wonderful and sometimes frustrating as Heather waffled on her feelings and trusting them. The dance on Blue Moon Bay is the dance every lady dreams of. Way to go Lisa. Bring on the next one!!!!