Today, Sophia Rose is stopping by to share her thoughts on THE LILAC BOUQUET by Carolyn Brown. Come meet Emmy Jo Massey as she uncovers a secret that forever changes how she sees her past and her future…
by Carolyn Brown
Genres: Women's Fiction
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Come hell or high water, Emmy Jo Massey will have a wedding. After three generations of Massey women with children out of wedlock, she wants the whole town of Hickory, Texas, to witness the legitimacy of her union with Logan Grady. But dream weddings aren’t cheap. So she accepts a highly lucrative stint as a home health assistant to retired realtor, and town recluse, Seth Thomas—a decision her great-grandmother Tandy is dead-set against.
Seth isn’t happy about it, either. The eighty-two-year-old doesn’t want a “babysitter”—much less a Massey—something he makes clear when Emmy arrives at his house, an empty mansion built for the woman who broke his heart. But as Emmy stays and the two eventually open up to each other, she learns the reason behind a feud between Seth, Tandy, and Logan’s grandfather Jesse Grady that goes back six decades. She also uncovers a secret that forever changes how she sees her past and her future…
Sophia Rose’s Review
The age-old question of ‘where do I come from?’ is what drives this tale of a young woman determined to live down her family heritage even as she seeks to discover it.
It was interesting to discover that this story has the distinction of being both an early work and later work by the author because she began it long ago and recently pulled it out and finished it, so there is a feel of her early writing and also the maturity of her latest writing efforts.
I would also like to point out that regular fans of Carolyn Brown might go in expecting her usual light, fun storytelling, but this is something of a different stripe.
This was small town showing both its best and its worst sides because it can be good community or community turning on one of its own. This was also an interesting look at how much we as individuals find our identity through our family history. It’s easy to take for granted when it’s there and readily available. For the heroine, half her past was blank for her, and she was compelled to go looking.
I enjoyed delving into these themes through the story that was split between the past and present bringing a mystery feel to it as the truth came out through Emmy Jo’s efforts.
THE LILAC BOUQUET is many things including a budding romance in the present and a tragic unrequited romance in the past, but it’s also a story of healing and forgiveness and choices for the whole cast of characters. I liked the way the author balanced the emotional touches to give me a good feel-good ending.
I adored Emmy Jo and Logan as characters, but the older generation is what offered complexity and gripped my interest. Emmy Jo and Logan’s grandparents weren’t nice people in their pasts, and it causes them to be cantankerous in the present. So, I didn’t like them, but I understood them. I have to say that Old Seth and his painful past was the one that touched my heart. He truly had a tough row to hoe and really needed to catch a break. For all that he went through, he’s the one that never learned to hate or let it kill his soul. He was ready when Emmy Jo came along to bring him back to life.
THE LILAC BOUQUET will be for those who want a small town comfy situation, a family saga type mystery, and a tender young love romance.The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown small-town, family saga reviewed by Sophia Rose Click To Tweet