When Life Seemed Its Worst, Gresham Awaited
Julia Hollis’ opulent life in Victorian London crashes to pieces when her husband passes away. Worse, she is told by his bankers that he gambled away their fortune. Now, the family’s hope rests on The Larkspur, an old abandoned coaching inn in the quaint village of Gresham.
Driven by dread and her desire to provide for her children, Julia decides to turn the dilapidated inn into a lodging house. But can she–who was accustomed to servants attending to every need–do what needs to be done and cope when boarders begin arriving? And then an eligible new vicar moves into town…
If you are looking for a sweet and wholesome Historical Romance, The Widow of Larkspur Inn is for you. I had seen this quite awhile ago and was instantly attracted to the cover. As I skimming through my Kindle library, searching desperately for a new book to read and this one popped up. I started in with high expectations that were not disappointed.
The overall feeling to this book was warm and homey. Gresham was delightfully portrayed, I could see the very streets with a wonderful clarity as I read the book. I love it when books have strong settings, ones where you can see the story playing out in your mind. So was The Widow of Larkspur Lane.
The Widow of Larkspur Lane is a great novel for single readers and families alike. I would recommend it strongly to reader who are looking for, or fine with a somewhat slower story.
I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. Julia, in particular, was refreshing. In lots of books the heroines bounce from one end of the spectrum to the other. Either they are perfect or they can’t boil water without messing it up. Julia was a breath of fresh air! She was totally out of her element in Gresham but that didn’t stop her. She worked hard, and learned a lot. She had children to provide for and nothing was getting in her way. Julia had an air of elegance and graciousness to her that was lovely. She was very kind, very tactful, and properly discreet. I loved this character!
Julia’s children, Philip, Aleda, and Grace were well done.Philip tried hard to be the man about the house and was very sweet. Aleda, to be honest, wasn’t really my favorite. She was rather sharp and annoying. Grace was a dear! She was so sweet definitely my favorite of the two girls.
Fiona O’Shea, Julia’s maid/housekeeper/best friend. Fiona was so sweet. Her Irish brogue, not to mention her pluck, spiced the book up nicely. She was so dutiful and God-honoring without being annoyingly perfect. I loved her character and I was so glad she got a happy ending!
There were a lot of lodgers, all of whom were unique personalities. But as there are so many I will only touch on my favorite, Mr. Clay. Ambrose Clay was such a dear man. He was always kind and considerate even through his depression. He was one of my very favorite characters.
The other supporting main and side characters were good. They added to the story beautifully. My hat’s off to Mrs. Blackwell! Her characters were superb.
The plot of The Widow of Larkspur Inn was very enjoyable. The story was definitely a slower pace than most books I read, this wasn’t bad however.
My only critiques on the story line and pace was the end. This, I felt, was not wholly satisfying. Julia’s romance literally took place in like the last 3% of the book. Now to be honest, Fiona’s romance was more important to me than Julia’s, but I would have preferred more time with Julia’s romance. I don’t even think the way that her romance was laid out was bad, just too short. The ending was abbreviated in my opinion, I would have been happy for another chapter or two.
Other than the above mentioned I felt that the plot and story were organized well. It flowed well and had good passage of time. The characters had time to progress in their character arcs. This book was relaxing and fun to read!
Violence/Gore/Frightening Scenes: None
Sex/Nudity: There is one comment that is suggestive of immoral behavior. Not a big deal for older readers, and families could easily skip.