Another hit outta the park!
No matter what genre Brey Willows turns her hand to we can count on meeting incredible characters, falling into a mind-blowing world and being swept away by a wonderful story. To say I loved this one is a bit of an understatement. I consumed it. I couldn’t put it down and I will read it again.
The characters (except for the walk-ons) are all well-drawn and memorable. Even the bad guy. Even the bad guy that was supposed to be the bad guy, but really wasn’t. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean)
The landscape was so real I could feel sand and grit and desperation.
The ending made perfect sense and was not contrived in any way. It was a great wrap-up. And would you look at that cover! Gorgeous! The romance worked perfectly too!
Loved it…loved it…loved it!
You can get a copy on November 1, 2019 at BoldStrokes Books
Thank you to NetGalley, and Bold Strokes Books for the opportunity to read the ARC, and to Brey Willows for sharing her gift once again.
Mowat was a mill town that attracted residents in 1897 on the northwestern shore of Canoe Lake in western Algonquin Park. Mowat was a lumberman’s town that included all the usual stores and businesses of the early mill villages including a hospital for a town that grew to a population of more than 500, the largest town in the Park. A school opened in 1898, listing 30 pupils in attendance. But then the lumber industry entered a recession and the population dwindled to just over 200. By 1914 it was down to 150. The community continued to decline and in 1946 the school closed having only 6 pupils. Soon the trains stopped running and Mowat became a ghost of its former self. A fate all too common in Northern Ontario, including, to a lesser extent my home base.
After Mowat’s decline the Group of Seven painter, Tom Thomson painted and lived in the area. Thomson often stayed at Mowat Lodge, a tourist retreat operated by Shannon and Annie Fraser, which made use of a converted Gilmour company building. In 1917 Thomson died in Canoe Lake under mysterious circumstances after staying at the lodge. Speculation is that he was murdered. During the time Tom Thomson used Mowat as his ‘home base’ in the Park, residents there included visitors from as far away as Europe, cottagers from the United States of America, as well as from Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Toronto. The population of Mowat also included those people who serviced tourists’ needs, such as hotel operators and guides. Park staff watched over all of them, maintaining the safety of the area, and enforcing Park regulations.
Today, time and forest regrowth has reclaimed most signs of the community of Mowat, originally named in honour of Sir Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896. Only a few cottage leases, old foundations, and the Tom Thomson cairn commemorating the artist’s life remain in Algonquin Park.
Next time, we’ll take a closer look at Tom Thomson himself and the influence Algonquin Park had on his paintings, as well as the circumstances surrounding his death. Did he die by misadventure or was he murdered by spies?
I would not describe myself as a romantic, so why was I reading this book? I read Georgia Beers to learn how to write settings well, how to write characters that stand out in memory and to be entertained. But not for the romance.
Until this book came along.
The settings, both interior and exterior are vivid and capture the reader’s imagination. The characters, even the front desk clerk and chef and Olivia’s Mom, stand out as unique, likeable and unforgettable. And Walter….oh Sir Walter captured my heart in one easy bound through the snow. And while Ms.Beers completely charmed me with her snowy woodlands, working art studio and a resort I’d love to spend time in…what won me over the most was the romance.
I am not a romantic person — except with my partner. But I ate up the dynamic between Hayley and Olivia. I cheered for them when they worked together and by Christmas Eve, I wanted them to get over themselves and admit there were sparks. I loved the romance in this, Ms. Beers’ best book yet.
If I ever give a romance book five stars, it has never been for the romance angle. This book changed all that.
This is the very first book I have ever read in my life that I actually said “awww” aloud when I finished it.
The. Very. First.
This is Georgia Beers at her best.
Why are you still here? Go read it!