In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career–only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother’s rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village. Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it’s a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it’s time away from teaching–and now she must care for the mother who wasn’t there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance? Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.
Bubby: The first part of A Haven on Orchard Lane is so difficult to read. Poor Charlotte is stuck in such a horrid situation and when she tries to escape, it all just gets worse for her. It’s almost painful to watch her suffering and embarrassment. I was grateful when things started to look up for her – the book got better and better from this point on. There’s a little romance, a lovely setting and the best part, a reconciliation between mother and daughter.
Sissy: The reconciliation theme was the best part of the story for me. The romance was slow in a good way, and took a backseat to the main and most gratifying aspect of the novel, which was relationships. The Victorian era posed so many problems for women, and in this case, it was only when the women banded together that they were able to be successful, happy, and not dependent men for their survival. This was the strong point of A Haven on Orchard Lane–the connection between the women who lived there and the strength they derived from each other and their faith. It’s like when Bubby and I are simpatico, we can conquer anything!
Bubby: Sister power! I really got a deeper appreciation of our relationship with our darling angel mama while reading this story. I miss her everyday and it was so gratifying to see Charlotte and Rosalind not only begin to heal the wounds of the past, but also become true friends. I hope that when I’m gone my daughters will look back on their time with me and miss me as both an awesomely rocking mom and a good friend.
Sissy: If they don’t, I’ll smack them upside the head.
Bubby: In what universe are you going to outlive me, elder sister?
Sissy: I do burpees every day, so…
Bubby: I only burp if I drink my coke too fast.
Sissy: Precisely why I shall outlive you! There is a charming side story in A Haven on Orchard Lane, involving two young boys named Danny and Albert. They were delightful and the ladies of Orchard Lane stepped in and completely changed their little lives for the better.
Bubby: All the different stories going on wove together so nicely and in the end, everyone is in a better place than when they started. I enjoyed the fact that the end scene takes place quite a few years after the main events of the story, so that we can see the details of all the happy endings. Lawanna Blackwell always writes such lovely inspirational stories and A Haven on Orchard Lane is no exception.
Sissy: There are a couple of villains and a nasty gossip to provide trial and contrast in the story. You’ve gotta have someone to hate on, right? And I spent a minute or two imagining what Jude, who is a quarter Indian and our love interest, might look like – handsome, naturally! An all around heartwarmingly great read.
lick HERE to buy A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell