Sunday, February 16, 2020

Willa's Grove

Willa's Grove by Laura Munson
Blackstone Publishing: 3/3/20
eBook review copy; 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9781982605247

Willa's Grove by Laura Munson is a recommended feel-good women's novel featuring four very different women at a cross road in their lives.

It all started with an invitation from one woman sent to three different women that invited them to the rest of their lives by visiting a lodge at a homestead in Montana for one week. Each of the four women have found themselves at a juncture in their lives where they are entering middle age with uncertain or unexpected futures. The invitations have been sent by Willa Silvester, a recent widow who must say goodbye to her home and town because she can no longer afford to stay there.
Willa's friend, Bliss, is facing her own world of hurt in Wisconsin. When the two talk they plan the weekend where a friend invites a friend who then invites a friend. Bliss invites Harriet, a former motivational speaker living in California. Harriet invites Jane, a highly guarded and proper socialite from the east coast. The three very different women are going to spend the week honestly examining their lives and their futures while helping Willa pack and say good-bye to her town.

The premise is that these extremely different friends of friends will be able to bond together and create a community of mutual support because they are all women. There are parts of this novel that are touching in the honest and open discussion the women have about their lives and what they wanted versus what they have. (Let's just fess up and say that nothing political or controversial, with one exception, was ever discussed between the women.) And while it is true that we all need friends we can be open and honest with, the expectation that you will find that connection because you are all women is unrealistic. There is also something to be said about connecting with people who you have a natural affinity toward and share similarities in beliefs and background.
In the end, Willa's Grove is a feel-good women's novel set in Montana. And it must be said that the setting is as important as the characters. This is a novel to read when you want to pass the time quietly. There is nothing shocking or surprising that happens. (There is one incident that simple could not happen as described, but I don't want to give a spoiler.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Blackstone Publishing.

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