Log In

Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $19.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time.

The Summer House

Lauren K. Denton. Thomas Nelson, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-78523-253-7

Denton (Glory Road) delivers a moving story about the friendship of two women reeling from betrayal and divorce. In Safe Harbor, Ala., Lily Bishop comes home one day to find an apology note from her husband alongside signed divorce papers. Rose Carrigan, the co-owner and manager of a local retirement community, gets an email from her ex-husband and co-owner, who left her for his assistant, saying he wants to sell the company and has found a buyer. Lily and Rose strike up a friendship when Lily, who used to cut hair, goes to work as a hair stylist at the retirement community, and her arrival is the catalyst for fence mending between Rose and the largely disgruntled client base. Rose, still bitter after a difficult divorce, finds it easier to open herself up to new friendships, and Lily slowly becomes comfortable in her hairstyling skill, leaning in to her gut feelings to provide the inspired hairstyles that each client needs. Through their shared faith and resiliency, Lily and Rose bring calm and happiness to the formerly uptight community, and Rose is able to keep control. Rachel Hauck fans will want to take a look. (June)

Reviewed on 04/10/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
On a Coastal Breeze

Suzanne Woods Fisher. Revell, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-8007-3499-2

Christy Award–winner Fisher delivers a delightful second installment to her Three Sisters Island trilogy (after On a Summer Tide). After finishing her clinical training for family therapy, Maddie rejoins her family, including sisters Cam and Blaine, on a small island off the coast of Maine to open a psychotherapy practice. However, her newfound confidence fails her when Rick O’Shea, her childhood friend turned high school sweetheart, reenters her life as the island’s new pastor. He left her heartbroken on prom night, and as Maddie and Rick learn how to forgive themselves as well as each other, they bond over their shared faith and rekindle their relationship. Meanwhile, Cam, the eldest sister, reevaluates her priorities as she cares for her adoptive son and plans her wedding. Blaine, the youngest sister, disappoints the family by quitting culinary school and avoiding the repercussions of an emotional relationship she started with a married professor (nicely setting up the next installment). While this could be read as a standalone, readers should start from the beginning to fully appreciate the secondary plots involving Cam and Blaine. This winsome tale will hit the spot for fans of contemporary inspirationals. (May)

Reviewed on 04/10/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Steadfast Mercy

Ruth Reid. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7180-8249-9

Reid brings the trials and tribulations of a young, single Amish mother to life in this poignant third installment to the An Amish Mercy series (after Abiding Mercy). After Jonica Muller’s parents die in an accident, Jonica, who divorced her husband, Peter, after he left the Amish faith, returns to her home town of Posen, Mich., with her five-year-old son to settle her father’s estate and spend some time with her elderly aunt, Edna—who may be suffering from dementia. Upon arrival, Jonica finds things worse than she thought: her aunt has a mysterious Englischer friend, Mr. Jordan, and Caleb Schulmann, Peter’s brother, is working Edna’s farm, much to Jonica’s dismay, as she wants to leave Peter’s betrayal in the past. Jonica receives and considers a marriage proposal from widower and neighbor Ephraim King, as she desperately wants Stephen to be raised Amish, and is also concerned about the small-town gossip regarding her divorce. As she stays in Posen to settle her parents’ estate, Caleb offers his support, and her feelings for him grow. While dealing with complex issues—single parenthood, the death of loved ones, grief—Reid also captures the ups and downs of plain Amish living, with an emphasis on the ways in which faith is lived in a strictly disciplined society. Amish fiction readers looking for a strong-minded heroine will love this. (July)

Reviewed on 04/10/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Driftwood Dreams

T.I. Lowe. Tyndale, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-4964-4045-7

Lowe continues her Carolina Coast series (after Beach Haven) with this touching romance centered on high school friends who reconnect later in life. After Josie Slater’s mother died, Josie decided to stay in Sunset Cove to help her father run the family diner. A few years later, artist August Bradford, Josie’s former best friend, returns from a tour of Europe to help his uncle with an art camp and also reconnect with Josie. August wants Josie, who has long wanted to go to graduate school for painting, to partner with him as a co-teacher, and he asks her to help in getting the art camp started. Josie agrees to help part-time; engaging her creative passion quickly transforms her from stuttering and shy to someone confident and comfortable in her own skin. As secondary characters and family members nudge Josie and August toward each other, the art projects push Josie to reconnect with her passion for painting. While obligations to her father keep Josie from enthusiastically accepting the co-teacher position full-time, all it takes is August losing his patience with her indecision for Josie to truly embrace the opportunity. Throughout are subtle reminders to not only trust God, but to also share one’s God-given gifts with the world. This slow-burning romance will appeal to fans of Irene Hannon. (June)

Reviewed on 04/10/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Lady at the Window

Robert Waldron. Paraclete, $16.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-6406-0534-3

Waldron (Thomas Merton in Search of His Soul) imagines the lost journal of 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich in this stirring novella. Julian lived sequestered in her later years as a hermit in the English city of Norwich, and her primary interactions were with her confessor, her servant, and the people who came to her for spiritual direction and wisdom. Julian doles out hopeful advice and questions the traditional Catholic practice of priestly confessions. Composed in secret—as women were forbidden from writing in English at the time—her journal entries display an unabashed defiance of norms, and, in scriptural readings, Julian likens Jesus as a mother rather than a son or father. Covering the last Holy Week before Julian’s death, the final entries look back on a life lived amid plagues, war, and despair. Despite the darkness of days, Julian surmises that, with peace and trust in God, “all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Christian readers will enjoy Waldron’s convincing, reflective tale. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/03/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Marshmallow Malice

Amanda Flower. Kensington, $7.99 mass market (328p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2203-4

Chocolatier Bailey King is back on the case in Flower’s entertaining fifth Amish Candy Shop Mystery (following Toxic Toffee). Bailey is maid of honor and the cake designer at her boyfriend’s mother’s wedding to Reverend Simon Brook, where an unknown woman barges in and calls the Reverend a traitor. When the woman’s body is found on the front steps of the church the next day, it is up to Bailey and her boyfriend, sheriff’s deputy Aiden Brody, to solve the murder and clear the Reverend’s name of any wrongdoing. The woman, identified as Elizabeth Chupp, was formerly Old Order Amish, and it soon becomes clear that the Amish community knows more about the woman’s relationship with the Reverend than he is letting on. Bailey’s grandmother is Amish, which gives her an in with the reclusive rural Ohio community and allows her to snoop where the deputy can’t. But her investigations may make her the murderer’s next target. Many secondary characters—including Bailey’s mischievous pet pig, a visiting friend from New York City, and Aiden’s ex-girlfriend—keep the plot entertaining. This is Flower’s best Candy Shop Mystery yet. (May)

Reviewed on 04/03/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Stay with Me

Becky Wade. Bethany House, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3560-3

Wade (Undeniably Yours) launches the Misty River Romance series with this crafty mix of tragedy, intrigue, and romance. After Genevieve Woodward, the daughter of a prominent Georgia district attorney, receives a cryptic letter threatening her parents for “what they did,” she leaves Nashville to head to their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the drive, she nearly falls asleep at the wheel after taking too many painkillers, pulls over, and passes out in an empty cottage owned by Sam Turner, a farmer and restaurateur from Australia, who discovers her there in the morning. As Genevieve works to uncover whether her parents actually have a secret, she struggles to recover from her reliance on OxyContin. After that first night, she returns to thank Sam and the two form a friendship, but Sam’s self-imposed isolation after the death of an ex-girlfriend has become an impenetrable wall against relationships. Sam, though, becomes a much-needed source of strength for Genevieve as she discovers the truth about her family. A subplot reveals how Genevieve and her sister were part of the Miracle Five—survivors of a horrific earthquake while in South America on a teen mission trip—which continues to affect her mental health and trust in others. While faith elements are slight, Wade’s endearing love story will appeal to readers of Susan May Warren. (May)

Reviewed on 03/27/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Green Dress

Liz Tolsma. Barbour, $12.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-64352-475-7

In this faith-filled historical romance, Tolsma (Spring of Thanksgiving) takes a provocative peek into one family’s past. It’s 1882 and destitute teenager Harriet Peters is taken in by widow Sarah Jane Robinson. Harriet becomes a sister in all but name to Sarah Jane’s daughter Lizzie, and after four years with the Robinsons, Harriet moves out and opens a millinery shop. Then, several members of the Robinson family die from a mysterious illness, and when Lizzie takes ill, Harriet, a woman of deep faith and devotion, returns to be by her side. Michael Wheaton is a young doctor with a deep secret, and after he begins treating Lizzie, he starts asking uncomfortable questions about the nature of the illnesses and raising suspicions about foul play. He also quickly falls in love with Harriet—and falls out with the Robinsons. Though the mystery and its solution are heavily foreshadowed and frustratingly predictable, Tolsma’s meticulous characterizations and use of period detail make for a pleasant inspirational drama. Agent: Tamela Hancock Murray, Steve Laube Agency (June.)

Reviewed on 03/20/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Someone Like You

Karen Kingsbury. Atria, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-98210-431-3

Kingsbury (Two Weeks) explores what it means to be family in this charming inspirational. After Dawson Gage’s girlfriend, London, dies in an accident, London’s grief-stricken mother tells Dawson she had donated a number of embryos years before, one of which was carried to term through an embryo transplant. Dawson then sets out to find the sister London never knew she had. Maddie West had no idea that she was the result of an embryo donation until Dawson shows up at her workplace in Indianapolis and tells her. Feeling angry and betrayed by her parents, Maddie heads to Portland to meet her biological parents. There, Dawson acts as a tour guide, taking Maddie to all of London’s favorite places. He is struck by her similarities to London, but soon begins to appreciate Maddie for who she is, especially the deep faith that both she and Dawson share. Dawson and Maddie feel a powerful connection, but Maddie is already engaged and must decide where her heart and loyalties lie. Kingsbury includes eloquent scriptural references that guide her faith-filled characters through both tragedy and pivotal life choices. This emotional, thoughtful tale will please Kingsbury’s fans and make her new ones as well. (May)

Reviewed on 03/20/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
Unveiling the Past

Kim Vogel Sawyer. WaterBrook, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-5256-5366-0

Vogel’s overwrought and heavy-handed follow-up to Bringing Maggie Home depicts the trials of a devout Christian marriage. Meghan and her husband Sean are partners in the Arkansas Cold Case Investigations Department in Little Rock, Ark., and have come to a crossroads in their three-year marriage. Sean is ready to start a family, but Meghan, burdened by a tumultuous childhood, refuses to discuss the topic. Then Meghan gets a case involving the disappearance of a father and son 20 years ago, and she discovers her own absentee father very conveniently lives in the town where she has come to investigate. Meghan’s father’s attempts at mending his relationship with her mother and the distance from Sean cause Meghan to question her identity as wife, daughter, and believer in God. More than a few readers will be turned off by the strictly traditional roles Sean and Meghan adhere to within their marriage, and Sawyer overfills her otherwise satisfying plot with biblical references. This is an easy one to miss. Agent: Tamela Hancock Murray, Steve Laube Agency (Apr.)

Reviewed on 03/13/2020 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.