by Courtney Walsh
Published by Waterfall Press
Publication Date September 19th 2017
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Mystery
Setting: Illinios Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-35
Written for: Adult
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with a hopeful and emotional new book about seizing second chances, finding yourself, and forging your own path.
Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.
Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.
Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?
It isn’t often that the adjective “lovely” can be used to describe a murder mystery. But if I was only allowed one word to convey my thoughts on Hometown Girl, that is the one I would use.
Despite the heavy subject matters, a girl who had been kidnapped and never found and another girl who had made a mistake she thought cost her father his life, this is a story of hope, second chances and forgiveness. Author Courtney Walsh relates this tale in such a way that captivated me from the first line and kept my interest throughout the story. The characters are believable and have you cheering for them and hoping for their healing and for them to get a happy ending.
The description of Fairwind Farm and the role it played in the community in drawing it together made me want to move to a small town! I loved the way the town Willow Grove was developed in the story, as a place where people cared deeply for one another and all pitched in to help their neighbors when the occasion called for it.
Here is the first line:
Beth Whitaker hated flowers.
And as a bonus, here are a few other lines that I loved too much to not share:
He smiled. Not just any smile. The kind that could make a girl want flowers.
And yet, as she cleared her throat and avoided his eyes, he found himself helpless to ignore a nagging curiosity about Beth Whitaker. And as she began to speak, he kept his gaze firmly on her, oddly hopeful that their eyes would meet again.
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