Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh – Review

Posted December 29, 2017 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh – Review

Hometown Girl

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
Pages: 380


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?

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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.

Join the fun with us! Take the book you are currently reading, open to chapter one, and post the first sentence (or two or three) in the comments below. Then head on over to Hoarding Books to see all of the First Line Friday pages this week.

About Courtney Walsh

Courtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.

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15 responses to “Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh – Review

  1. Becky Smith

    I’ve been wanting to read Courtney’s books because of all the wonderful reviews I have read.

    Happy Friday! My first line is from Would-be Mistletoe Wife by Christine Johnson.

    “Louise Smythe spotted her quarry and motioned her students to follow her across the sand dune.”

    This is a fun & interesting read about lighthouses and the Chicago Fire! Happy New Year!!!

  2. Caryl Kane

    This one is on my wish list!


    “WHO ARE YOU?” I asked. – The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn

    Happy New Year!

  3. I love the extra lines you shared. I have seen this one on so many different FLF posts – and I love those rain boots. Happy New Year!

  4. Sounds like a gifted author. The book I’m featuring this week is A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, who I always enjoy. This is part of an enjoyable Archer Brothers series.

  5. Happy Friday!!!

    I’m sharing the first line from Nicole Deese’s novel, A Season to Love, on my blog. I’m just starting chapter 23, so I will share the first line from this chapter here:

    “I dreamed of coffee: dark and rich and boldly brewed.”

    A great dream to me!!! Hope you have a great weekend, and a happy New Year. ?