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November 12, 2022

A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

A hidden past isn’t past at all.  

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton
October 2022; Harper Muse; 978-0785232650
audio, ebook, print (336 pages); southern fiction

A Place to Land
takes place in Alabama and involves two sisters and a 40-year-old mystery.  Add in a young girl looking for a home, a small-town policeman, and a major secret and you have a book that will keep you turning pages to find resolution to the story of a man missing for over 40 years.

Violet and Trudy are sisters and have lived in Sugar Bend, Alabama for their entire lives.  They own a small art shop.  Trudy is fiercely protective of her sister.  She runs the shop and spends her free time monitoring bird activity at the beach.  When she was younger, she'd hoped to go away and take an internship related to her love of birds but was unable to leave town because she was protecting her sister.  Trudy gathers small objects from the beach and makes them into sculptures that are sold in the art shop.  Trudy has been unable to speak for the last forty years and the sisters communicate with handwritten notes.  Their lives follow the same routine every day and the sisters seem to be content with their lives.  One day, a young girl, Maya shows up at the art shop.  As she continues to return daily, the sisters learn that she had been in foster care since her beloved grandmother died seven years earlier.  Something had drawn her to Sugar Bend but she wasn't really sure why she was there.  She begins to help Trudy with her sculptures and the sisters hire her to work at their shop.  Life continues fairly uneventfully until an old boat rises to the surface at a nearby river.  The boat is tied to a 40-year-old secret and the sisters have to decide if they should risk their peace and tell the truth about what really happened.

The story is told from alternating points of view in the past and the present.  The two sisters and Maya are all well-written and some of the secondary characters add a lot to the story.  My only problem with this book was some of the dreams and visions -- the fish bones, the way Maya was led to the town but you have to just overlook those things and follow along with the mystery in the story.  

A Place to Land is a book about love and redemption, the love of family - both family by blood and the family created by people who care deeply about each other.  It's also about the damage that secrets can do to a person and a family and the relief that happens when that secret comes to light.  This wasn't my favorite book by this author and the secret wasn't a big surprise but it was still a great southern fiction novel to read and enjoy.  

Buy A Place to Land at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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