Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: April 2014
It’s summer, and after ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family’s cabin beside tranquil
where as a teenager she spent so many carefree days. She’s promised her
five-year-old son, Wyatt, they will be happy there. She’s promised herself this
is the place to begin again after her husband’s death in Butternut Lake Afghanistan.
The cabin holds so many wonderful memories, but from the moment she crosses its
threshold Allie is seized with doubts. Has she done the right thing uprooting
her little boy from the only home he’s ever known?
Allie and her son are embraced by the townsfolk, and her reunions with old acquaintances—her friend Jax, now a young mother of three with one more on the way, and Caroline, the owner of the local coffee shop—are joyous ones. And then there are newcomers like Walker Ford, who mostly keeps to himself—until he takes a shine to Wyatt . . . and to Allie.
Everyone knows that moving forward is never easy, and as the long, lazy days of summer take hold, Allie must learn to unlock the hidden longings of her heart, and to accept that in order to face the future she must also confront—and understand—what has come before.
Up at Butternut Lake is the first in a new trilogy by debut author, Mary McNear. It was a really good book and I read it very quickly because I was sucked right in to Allie and Walker's story. It's heartwarming, heartbreaking and endearing all at the same time. I could help but fall in love with both characters. Allie lost her husband in the war overseas and had moved back to her family cabin to try to make a fresh start for her and her son. What she didn't count on was having a new and tempting neighbor to make things complicated.
Allie and Walker in a way were both kind of going through similar experiences when they met. They both had things to work out before they could totally commit to the other. Allie had to learn to let go of her grief for her husband and work through the feeling that she was betraying him with another man. Walker hadn't ever really resolved things with his divorce and the loss of his baby. I found myself rooting for them to be able to make things work. I really liked that their relationship wasn't an inst-love type of thing. I thought the emotions and doubts that each of them had were very realistic and made me believe it more.
The other characters in the book rounded out the story nicely. The only thing I didn't like was the story-line with Jax, Jeremy and her ex, Bobby. I felt like that was unnecessary to the book and felt like filler. While the hurt from the lies was heartbreaking, it was just too rushed for me and didn't fit in well.
This is a great debut novel by Ms. McNear and I can't wait to see what she comes up with in the future. The next book, Butternut Summer comes out in August. I look forward to revisiting Butternut Lake again soon!
About the author:
Mary McNear lives in
Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and
a high-strung, minuscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a
local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of
neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made
doughnuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town
on a lake in the northern Midwest.
Connect with Mary on Facebook.
Mary’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, April 15th: She’s Got Books on Her Mind
Wednesday, April 16th: Bibliotica
Thursday, April 17th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, April 21st: Stephany Writes
Wednesday, April 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 24th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, April 29th: Walking With Nora
Thursday, May 1st: missris
Friday, May 2nd: A Novel Review
Monday, May 5th: Always With a Book
Tuesday, May 6th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 7th: Time 2 Read
TBD: Book Journey