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Coming Home to Glendale Hall*

Story of Forgiveness, Family, Hope and Community

This is a complex story about multiple generations and multiple secrets that require multiple plot lines. As I often see in contemporary British literature, the story was slow to unwind. But if you understand this and just go along with it, you might just feel yourself pulled into the complex web of the story like I did. I kept this book off to the side near my computer, and when my computer slowed to a crawl at certain websites, I would just pull this book out and keep reading. I sometimes found that when the site came in, I wanted to continue reading anyway. I often did and even stayed up later than I should have on certain nights so that I could read more.

I thought that the book was perhaps not as cohesive in structure as it could have been. It could have been tighter. I had recently read a similar multi-generation book that had a very controlled structure, and I did like that better.

The book is told solely from their perspective of a daughter who is coming home after ten years away. There were problems at that time that caused her to essentially run away from her family, which I will let you discover for yourself, but her grandmother is dying, so her father asks her to come back for her grandma’s last Christmas. So she and her young daughter return to the family home in Scotland. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are plot lines that have to do with just about everyone in the story: the main hero and heroine of the romance (of course) as well as a side romance, the dissolution of a long-standing relationship, the bringing together of a community that seems to be in its own death throes, and the revelation of several secrets that have a significant impact on several of the relationships. The author definitely put these characters into some tricky circumstances, but she made the characters seem very realistic and relatable. Most of the characters are inherently good people who might have made bad decisions in the past but are trying during the holiday season to make amends and make things right. I think stories of hope, forgiveness, family, and community are perfect for holiday stories, as these themes are such essential elements for the Christmas season itself. If you would enjoy meandering contemporary British literature as I do and heartfelt family stories that are complex and feel so genuine, you may very well enjoy this book.

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