In 1970, Violet Hawkins’ only wish at eighteen is to escape her life in the Dayton, Ohio, foster-care system and make her way to the west coast to enjoy a mellow life and find the love she’s been missing all her life. She makes it to San Francisco, but soon learns she needs a job if she’s to live properly. A kind, young man named Kenton Chandler offers her a sandwich and a job at his father’s inn and vineyards. With nothing to lose, Lettie takes him up on his offer and begins a whole new life in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. She immediately falls in love with the land and is fascinated with the idea of growing grapes in order to make wines. She, Kenton, and Rafe Lopez become friends as she learns about running the small inn on the property.
At the same time, she marries Kenton, a stroke kills his father. And then before she can tell Kenton she’s pregnant, he dies in an automobile accident. Heartbroken and burdened with the gift of the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery, she’s left with the task of making them a success. Struggling to raise a child alone while working to grow the business, Lettie makes a shocking discovery that changes everything.
Titles in the Chandler Hill Inn series include — Going Home –
Title: Going Home
Series: Chandler Hill Inn #1
Author: Judith Keim
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published: February 13, 2019
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
My Rating: 4 stars
I found GOING HOME to be in some aspects, heartbreakingly realistic and in other ways a slice of one woman’s life journey that brought out all the good, the bad and the unexpected as Lettie moves through life and the years.
I don’t think this is a story that can be easily described – but needs to be more felt and experienced to understand the nuances and even the life lessons it also contains. GOING HOME is not always a comfortable story to read, yet it is realistic in that it shows the sides of human emotions that aren’t always noble or spoken about. Lettie has been through so much in her life – good times, difficult times, finding love, losing loved ones and taking on responsibilities that were beyond her abilities until she strengthened herself and did what was necessary for her own and her daughter’s survival. Life is rarely easy, and Lettie’s life proves that – but it is always well worth living and experiencing.
It will be interesting to see what direction this series goes in with the next story.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback, audio and for the Kindle