Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Review: Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli

By Sara Steven

Lily Holmes is ready for a fresh start. And there’s no better place to begin again than the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

All Lily wants to do is focus on making her new deli a success and ensuring her son’s happiness. Not the postcard creeping out of her handbag, and definitely not finding a new man in her life!

But this isn’t going to be as easy as she first thought. The town is in uproar about the city girl who’s dared to join them and she’s fighting a battle at every turn.

Perhaps with a little help from the gorgeous cider farmer next door, she may be able to win them over, but her past secrets threaten to ruin everything… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Portia MacIntosh has a way of developing characters who have the ability to bring out a range of emotions from within. The way she describes the connections between Lily and her son, or the way Lily is not welcomed into the town of Marram Bay, even the first visit with the next door neighbor- I was on a roller coaster.

Lily wants to create a better life for her son, but she’s fighting against what feels like impossible odds. In her way are the various townspeople, who don’t take kindly to outsiders, doing all they can to muddle up her plans. This trickles down into the experiences Lily’s son has at school, which really got me going. I found myself cursing under my breath from time to time, or rolling my eyes. It felt true to life and close to home, since so many of us have been in Lily’s shoes.

Even Lily’s experiences with that gorgeous cider farmer next door are tinged with contention, when she discovers she’s not the only one who’s interested in him. Yet, through all the muck is this undeniable spirit, a fighting spirit. I really appreciated that about Lily. Her ability to keep going, even with all the negativity. It would be so easy for her to run for the hills, and not that she doesn’t feel like she wants to several times along the way, but witnessing her ability to take a few steps forward, a ton back every time feeds into that need to see the underdog achieve the impossible. The question, though, is whether it’s all worth it, and what’s the end result? The changes Lily goes through during all of this, it’s fun to witness, and is inspiring.

This truly was a sweet read, mixed in with strong undertones of strength and courage while facing less than stellar odds.

Thanks to Portia MacIntosh for the book in exchange for an honest review. Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli can be purchased here.

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